Cornell Study Finds Customers Seek Convenience and Control in Online Food Ordering

May 05, 2011

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025,

Cornell Study Finds Customers Seek Convenience and Control in Online Food Ordering

Pizza remains the number-one online food 

A recent study of U.S. consumers found that nearly half of them have ordered food online, but the telephone call remains the number-one way to order in. The study, "Customer Perceptions of Electronic Food Ordering," was written by Cornell Professor Sheryl E. Kimes with research support by Nation's Restaurant News and is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at

"There's no question that electronic ordering is growing," said Kimes. "This study's respondents said that they place just under 40 percent of their orders online or by mobile apps. We'll see further increases in those numbers. Restaurant operators especially need to note that the people who order electronically tend to be younger and patronize restaurants more than those who don't."

Perceived control and convenience are key to customer use of online ordering. Consequently, restaurateurs must ensure that their ordering systems give users perceptions of control and also be convenient.

The study found that the major factor that inhibits those who have not ordered via an electronic channel is a desire for interaction with a restaurant employee, although discomfort with technology is also a factor.

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About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 81 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit
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