COVID-19 Impacts Dining Behaviours Across British Columbia

Millennials and Metro Vancouverites are more likely to be relying on apps to have food delivered to their homes.

Vancouver, BC [February 9, 2021] – British Columbians are not ordering food delivered to their homes as often as they did a year ago, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 32% of British Columbians say they order food that is delivered to their homes once every two weeks or more often, down 14 points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in February 2020.

More than half of British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (54%) are having food delivered to their homes at least once every fortnight, compared to 37% among those aged 35-to-54 and 10% among those aged 55 and over.

In a poll conducted by Research Co. in January 2021, 21% of Canadians—and 19% of British Columbians—said they are not ordering food from restaurants at all because they fear infection from COVID-19.

Just under half of British Columbians (45%, -1) order food that they pick up themselves from a restaurant at least once every fortnight. 

Three-in-ten British Columbians (30%) dine out at a restaurant at least once every two weeks, down from 55% in 2020.

While 27% of British Columbians say they are ordering food delivered to their home more often than last year, a similar proportion (28%) is partaking on this option less than before.

“The momentum for the food delivery business in British Columbia is being driven primarily by Millennials,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 42% of residents aged 18-to-34 say they are ordering food for their homes more often, only 31% of those aged 35-to-54 and 13% of those aged 55 and over are joining them.”

One third of Metro Vancouverites (34%) are ordering food for their homes more often than last year. The Fraser Valley is a close second on this indicator (29%), followed by Vancouver Island (18%), Northern BC (15%) and Southern BC (13%).

Over the past year, more than a third of British Columbians relied on three different methods to have food delivered to their home: a phone call to a specific restaurant (39%, -4 since February 2020), online through the website of a restaurant or chain (37%, -1) and using an app on their phone, such as DoorDash, Uber Eats or Skip The Dishes (36%, +4).

While two thirds of British Columbians aged 18-to-34 have used an app to order food in the past year (65%), the proportion drops to 39% among those aged 35-to-54 and 13% among those aged 55 and over.

On a regional basis, Metro Vancouverites relied primarily on apps to order food over the past year (47%). In the other four regions, the most favoured method is a phone call to a specific restaurant: 58% in Northern BC, 45% in the Fraser Valley, 39% in Southern BC and 37% in Vancouver Island.

More than half of British Columbians (54%) say they always leave a tip for the delivery person or courier who brings food to their home, including 57% of women, 58% of British Columbians aged 35-to-54 and 66% of Vancouver Islanders.

Only 28% of British Columbians say they always leave a tip or donation for the restaurant—an option that can be accessed in some applications at the time deliveries are finalized—while 34% never do this.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from February 1 to February 3, 2021, among 800 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error— which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca