How has coronavirus affected Britons’ takeaway-buying habits?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
December 16, 2020, 11:25 AM UTC

Habits have changed in both directions, but the most frequent orderers are getting more deliveries since lockdown began

With much of the nation locked indoors for large portions of the year, one sector that should have benefitted from coronavirus restrictions is the takeaway industry. New YouGov data reveals how Britons’ hot food delivery habits have changed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, 14% of Britons were getting a takeaway delivered to their home at least once a week. A further 26% did so once or twice a month. Only 28% say they never had takeaway delivered.

The younger Britons are, the more likely they are to order takeaways. More than six in ten 18-24 year olds (62%) ordered takeaways at least once a month prior to coronavirus, as did 64% of 25-34 year olds. By contrast, just 40% of 45-54 year olds and only 19% of those aged 55 and above did so.

Since the disease struck, takeaway habits have changed – in both directions. A quarter of Britons (26%) say they have been getting more takeaways, while 21% say they have been ordering fewer.

Those who have been ordering less frequently are the ones most likely to have been cutting back: 30-36% of those who previously ordered takeaways once every 2 months or less frequently say they have made orders less often, compared to 24-25% of those who ordered once a month or more frequently.

At the same time, frequent takeaway orderers have upped their consumption of hot home deliveries. Around four in ten of those who order takeaways at least once a month before the COVID-19 outbreak say they are now ordering more frequently than before. A similar proportion of those who ordered every 2-3 months say the same, while only 17-20% of those who previously made orders only once every 4 months or less often have upped their consumption.

The results also show that 8% of those who never had takeaways prior to the outbreak have since placed some orders.

Some Britons would consider takeaway for Christmas Day

Although Christmas is traditionally a time for a big home-cooked roast, the results show that a small minority of Britons would consider getting their food from an external source this year. One in nine Britons (11%) say they would “definitely” or “probably” on Christmas Day.

Those who ordered takeaways at least once a week before COVID-19 are the most likely to say they will would consider having their Christmas dinner brought to them, at 23%.

See the full results here