How to Succeed in Delivery

The top trending foods in 2021

November 23, 2021

The top menu item & ordering trends in 2021

Experiences around food are central to our lives.

  • 85% of people say going out to a restaurant with family or friends is a better way to spend their leisure time than cooking at home.
  • 80% of people say their favorite restaurant foods deliver flavor and taste sensations that just can’t be duplicated in the home kitchen.

...And post-pandemic, delivery is too.

  • 65% of people report they’d rather give up social media than never be able to get an item delivered again.
  • 68% of people are more likely to purchase takeout from a restaurant than before the pandemic.
  • 53% of people say that takeout and delivery is essential to the way they live.

In this free guide, we'll dig in to some menu item & ordering trends in for the first half of 2021 including topics like:

  1. Everything on demand > meals on demand. We've seen an increase in delivery orders of snacks like glazed donuts, soft drinks, and chips. We've also seen an increase in delivery of immune-boosting products like electrolyte beverages and aspiring. Essentials are also a growing delivery category with items like shampoo, conditioner, tampons and condoms seeing a huge jump in orders.
  2. Explore more! As the world reopens post-pandemic, people are looking forward to trying new foods, restaurants, and dining experiences.
  3. What we say we want versus what we really want. While most people report that they're focused on eating healthy post-pandemic, the ordering statistics beg to differ.
  4. Celebrate like it's 2021! After a year where group gatherings were a rarity, everything's worth celebrating in 2021.
  5. Make your dollar matter. Conscious customers are thinking more critically about where they order food from and what's in the food they order.

Download the free guide today!

The trends outlined above align closely with the top 10 rising menu items of 2021.

  1. Chocolate Shake (440% increase)
  2. Chicken Nuggets (410% increase)
  3. Cheese Pizza (362% increase)
  4. Spicy Chicken Sandwich (286% increase)
  5. Beef Burrito (248% increase)
  6. Hot Sauce (201% increase)
  7. Blueberry Muffin (161% increase)
  8. Bacon Cheeseburger (113% increase)
  9. Nachos (103% increase)
  10. Sausage and Egg Sandwich (107% increase)

And similar to in 2020, comfort is still king for most food delivery customers.

The top ordered menu-items in 2021 thus far include

  1. French Fries
  2. Quesadillas
  3. Iced Coffee
  4. Boneless Wings
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  6. Pad Thai
  7. California Roll
  8. Caesar Salad
  9. Chicken Tikka Masala
  10. Chili

How can your restaurant take advantage of these trends to increase delivery orders and sales? Some ideas include: 

  • Ensure your restaurant offers alcoholic beverages on delivery platforms
  • Consider adding more "snack-like" items or sides to your delivery menu
  • Perhaps create "celebration meal-kits" as in-person events return

Outside of specific menu items, there are other ways to ensure your restaurant is successful in 2021.

  1. Make your menu easy to read: 30% of diners have been turned off by menus that are difficult to read.
  2. Ensure your website looks fresh & updates: 30% of diners have been turned off by websites that look old and outdated.
  3. Think mobile first: 36% of diners have been discouraged from ordering food from a restaurant because its website wasn’t mobile-friendly.
  4. Step up your social media game: 45% of diners say they’ve tried a restaurant for the first time because of a restaurant’s social media post. 

Want to learn more? Download the free guide today!

Latest blog posts

Sometimes you just want a little extra. Extra support. Extra features. Extra everything.
How to Succeed in Delivery

How to sell alcohol online by taking advantage of 2022 beverage trends

Restaurants, learn how to sell alcohol online to benefit your bottom line. In this article, we dig into the top 5 adult beverage trends for 2022.

How to Succeed in Delivery

2021 food trends around the globe and how they’ll impact 2022

As we begin preparing for 2022, let’s take a look at the insights, trends, and innovations that impacted the restaurant industry on a country by country level throughout the course of 2021.

How to Succeed in Delivery

The Secret Recipe to make your restaurant’s social presence unique and effective with food consultant and creative director Valentina Story.

Learn how to make your restaurant's social platform unique and memorable in the fourth installment of The Secret Recipe by Otter.

How to Succeed in Delivery

The Secret Recipe to making your restaurant more profitable with Nate Pollak

In the third installment of our content series, The Secret Recipe: inspiration, education & tips to help your restaurant succeed in delivery, we hear from entrepreneur, author & restaurateur, Nate Pol

How to Succeed in Delivery

The Secret Recipe to making your restaurant more sustainable with Addie Fischer

In the second installment of our content series, The Secret Recipe: inspiration, education & tips to help your restaurant succeed in delivery, we hear from sustainable living enthusiast and influencer

How to Succeed in Delivery

The Secret Recipe behind crafting the best delivery menu possible

Welcome to the first installment of our content series, The Secret Recipe by Otter: The Secret Recipe behind crafting the best delivery menu possible

How to Succeed in Delivery

Looking ahead towards food delivery shifts, trends & tips for 2022

From sustainability, to celebrity, to robots, drones, and boozeless-cheers, 2022 is sure to be an exciting year for restaurants like yours.

How to Succeed in Delivery

Your questions about virtual brands, answered

What is a virtual brand? How does it work? How can I create a virtual brand for my restaurant? Your questions about virtual brands, answered.

Local Heroes

Holiday food traditions around the world

From jeon 전 to escudella, mince pies to black eyed peas, in this article, we'll dig into traditional holiday meals around the globe!

Solutions for enterprise customers

For restaurant groups with more than 10 locations, we love getting you up and running as smoothly and quickly as possible. Let us know what you need, and we’ll custom-tailor the right solution for your business. Let’s have a conversation about it.

Talk to someone