Top third-party delivery trends in the UK and how restaurants + providers can partner to maximise ROI

Jeremy Michael | Oct 14, 2020 Jeremy Michael 10/14/20

To help restaurants + third-party delivery providers collectively navigate the influx of off-premise dining during this period of uncertainty, we gathered feedback from 4,700+ consumers in the UK. Here are the key trends we uncovered and ways to exceed customers’ heightened expectations for health + safety.

Most consumers use Just Eat for food delivery—and convenience is the top motivator  

With nearly 60% of respondents ordering food through a third-party delivery app, there is a big opportunity for restaurants to increase their digital presence and be more readily available in the channels customers are using most.

To get a better idea of exactly what those channels are, we compared the top three delivery apps and found 3 out of 4 customers choose Just Eat over Uber Eats and Deliveroo.


There are a couple reasons Just Eat has the advantage. One is coverage area (which we’ll go into further in the next section), but another big factor is SMG research shows Just Eat is credited with having the most user-friendly app + website. This pulls a lot of weight when you consider most third-party delivery orders are motivated by convenience factors—with 21% of respondents citing Ease of Ordering as their reason for using third-party delivery.

The data is clear: consumer demand for third-party delivery is high, and there is business to win and loyalty at stake. As more customers increase their digital engagement, brands + delivery providers must embrace this digital maturity and provide customers with a seamless online ordering experience that delivers on their need for convenience.

For those who don’t use third-party delivery, coverage is the biggest reason

Now that we understand why customers use third-party food delivery, let’s take a look at why they don’t. Though many say they simply have no need for it or prefer to cook themselves, 27% aren’t using third-party delivery because it’s not available in their area.

We mentioned earlier that Just Eat wins in terms of availability, with the most dominant coverage across the UK—not just in urban regions, but rural as well. And because of this increased availability, the app naturally sees the highest usage.

But when we look at provider preference across regions, we find Just Eat ranked lowest in the Greater London area (a region with more access to other app choices, like Uber Eats and Deliveroo). And, in London, Uber Eats is almost on-par with Just Eat.


This is important to note because Just Eat actually scores lower than Uber Eats and Deliveroo in several categories—including Speed of Delivery, Customer Service, and Partnerships with Favourite Restaurant. Meaning, if given additional choices of delivery apps, more customers may be willing to use third-party delivery for their food orders—increasing business for restaurants and driving revenue.


Restaurant brands need to regularly evaluate the reach of third-party delivery partners. If many of your loyal customers aren’t eligible for delivery, you may need to revisit your partnership strategy. It’s also important for providers to regularly monitor population counts to inform their coverage range and expansion strategy.

When something goes wrong, customers blame both the restaurant + the provider

More than ever, customers are giving their business to brands that demonstrate cordiality and earn their trust. So when our research showed only 8% of respondents strongly agreed third-party delivery providers care about the customer, we unveiled a big gap that needs addressing.

Why? A bad delivery experience is going to reflect poorly on both the provider and the restaurant. Yes, there are instances when customers feel one is more at fault than the other. For inaccurate orders, 80% of customers will blame the restaurant. For late deliveries, 1 in 3 will blame both. But even more alarming than that, 27% don’t know who’s at fault—which makes problem resolution a big challenge.

True partnership is key. By joining forces and creating a cohesive customer experience + close-the-loop strategy, restaurants and delivery providers can work together to resolve customer issues and boost loyalty.

Establish a successful delivery partnership to elevate the customer experience

With the current global health crisis driving a necessary surge in third-party delivery orders, it’s more important than ever to provide an exemplary customer experience. Restaurants + third-party delivery providers without a collaborative strategy must act quickly to join forces and keep up with the demands of off-premise dining.

To dive deeper into this data and learn 5 strategic steps to take now, download the executive brief: How restaurants + third-party delivery providers can partner to mitigate risks and maximise ROI.

Jeremy Michael | Managing Director

Customer Experience Update