Millennials driving food-delivery app use in B.C., but overall meal delivery down compared to a year ago: poll
A woman uses a cellphone in this image from shutterstock.com.
VANCOUVER -- Even though millennials and Metro Vancouver residents are dominating food-delivery app use in the province, British Columbians are taking advantage of food delivery less than they did a year ago, results from a new poll suggest.
According to a survey conducted by Research Co., about 32 per cent of B.C. residents have food delivered to their home at least once every two weeks. That's down by 14 percentage points from a similar poll conducted last February.
Meanwhile, 45 per cent of British Columbians say they order food they pick up from a restaurant themselves at least once every two weeks, the survey suggests. While that's also less than last year, the difference is only by one percentage point.
Dining in a restaurant is down more dramatically from last February, which was before a state of emergency was declared over the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, 55 per cent of B.C. residents said they ate out at a restaurant at least once every 14 days. But this February, that figure is down to 30 per cent, the poll suggests.
While dining numbers are down overall, one particular age group appears to be using delivery businesses more than others.
"The momentum for the food delivery business in British Columbia is being driven primarily by millennials," said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., in a news release.
"While 42 per cent of residents aged 18 to 34 say they are ordering food for their homes more often, only 31 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 13 per cent of those aged 55 and over are joining them."
When it comes to apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes, two-thirds of British Columbians aged 18 to 34 have used one in the past year. But just 39 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 13 per cent of those over the age of 55 have used one of the apps, according to the poll's results.
Metro Vancouverites also rely more heavily on apps compared to other regions in B.C., the survey's results show. Forty-seven per cent of Metro Vancouver residents relied primarily on apps to order food over the past year, whereas other regions favoured a phone call to a specific restaurant.
In December, B.C.'s government introduced a 15 per cent commission cap during the pandemic in an effort to help struggling restaurants. That limit came after complaints surfaced of some companies were charging up to 30 per cent.
But at least one delivery app is passing on fees to the consumer. SkipTheDishes recently added a 99-cent fee for customers in B.C., specifically because of the province's commission limit.
B.C.'s premier weighed in on the change.
"When people are trying to stay home and stay safe while eating local, charging another fee on top of delivery is ridiculous," he said on Twitter.
In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for the company said the fee is to "ensure that there is no impact to the service and support" given to stakeholders while the cap is in effect.
Results from Research Co's poll are based on an online study conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, 2021, among 800 adult British Columbians. The margin of error— which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.