Believe it or not, there actually once was a time where you actually had to put physical effort into making a takeout order. Now, food delivery apps mean we literally have anything we want in a few clicks (or a more appropriate but less-catchy-to-say taps).
As a result, delivery apps know a hell of a lot about us. They know what we like to eat, and when. They know where we live, and how well we tip. What you may be surprised to hear is that they can also provide insights to a lot of our dining habits too.
Data gathering helps companies like UberEATS collate and extrapolate all the juicy, bad-habit-exposing dirt they can, and present it in a quirky, harmless-looking poster. How America Eats is a recent survey they conducted that looked at over 1,000 people in the US, as well as a variety of food eating habits. Have a read for yourself.
At first glance, the results are almost scatterbrained in the diversity of its findings. For example, did you know one in four couples argue where to order their food from, and then usually end up ordering from two places? Also, there's about 50 percent of people who always order-in when they're entertaining guests.
UberEATS also says one in 10 working adults admit they've eaten a coworker's lunch "by accident". Imagine prepping your lunch, putting it in the fridge in the morning, and turning up at lunch to find it's gone, or worse: someone's eaten three-quarters of it. I think if that happened to me, it would be my last day in the office, because that place would be burned to the ground.
Over 50 percent of people admit to having eaten takeout off the floor, which for me is a pretty standard procedure. Like, you can't fit a XXL pizza, wings and garlic bread onto one table most of the time, and that's even forgetting the cola and glasses you need to wash all that down with. And what about all the dipping sauce?
Someone really proud of what UberEATS has done is Jeanette Mellinger, who's one of Uber's User Experience Researchers. In a recent interview, she said: “The eating habits of Americans are ever-evolving, and we believe it’s important to just as constantly find ways to more deeply understand what, where, and when people eat, and ultimately why.”
The end goal is simple, according to Mellinger and UberEATS. “If we better understand our eaters, we can better serve through products built with their needs in mind.” With that being the case, some of the bigger picture findings would probably be the most relevant.
Take brunch for example. UberEATS' analytics shows that the early-lunch-late-breakfast is actually dying, according to the stats. Instead, eating a late-night “supper” meal once a week is now twice more common.
Meanwhile, 43 percent of respondents said that they are picky eaters. More than 50 percent of that figure is Millennials and a third of it is Baby Boomers - these kinds of insights could actually help the delivery service advise restaurants on what hours to offer delivery, and how to create a menu that can appeal to all customers.
I know no one really asked for this information, but it's pretty cool to know all the same. At least now you can take solace in the fact that you're not the only one with a super weird and picky McDonald's order.