From contactless delivery, to bottles of wine or 6-packs to accompany dinner, to gift cards that benefit employees, partnerships with sports teams and DoorDash, to #TakeOutTuesdays and even to a roll of toilet paper with each take-out order, Texas restaurants are getting creative about keeping their doors open. This week’s TWi insights show that it’s working – Texans want to help keep their local restaurants open for business!
40% of total Texas respondents have not ordered from a restaurant.

39% have ordered 1-2 times during the past 2 weeks.

Older adults – 65+ are the least likely to order.

The 45- 54 age group is the most likely to have ordered from a restaurant, with only 22% reporting that they have not ordered at all and 16% reporting that they have ordered 5+ times. These are likely working adults, with kids at home who are trying to balance work, online school, grocery shopping and cooking. For these families, restaurants offer a reprieve and a chance to support local businesses.

Consider family meals as an appealing option for those trying to balance supporting local businesses and watching their budget. Thoughtfully prepared meals are like micro-catering opportunities for consumers and should be positioned as such – a chance to enjoy an expertly crafted meal, at home!
33% report that they want to support the local restaurant economy. This sentiment is stronger with younger groups 25-44, who likely have friends/colleagues working in this industry.

The sense of community and “we are all in this together” that has surrounded the COVID-19 pandemic appears to transfer to the restaurant community, with a desire and even sense of obligation to support the larger community. Restaurants should highlight how they are helping employees, providing community services and delivering to those in need.
Right now, in Texas, it looks like consumers would be most likely to consider purchasing a prepared meal and/or protein from a restaurant. This suggests that meal planning is still a challenge for many!

Consider a meal kit – providing key ingredients for folks to cook at home, along with recipe notes and/or videos. Have fun with chef demonstrations so that customers can follow at home.

Signature and exclusive items might be fun to sell – a world famous queso, spice rub, drink – all the things people are craving from their favorite places right now!
In the absence of delivery, many Texans appear open to curbside pick-up.

To do curbside right, make sure it’s streamlined, easy to use and clearly addresses your restaurant’s efforts to address any potential safety concerns.

Some good ideas we’ve seen: Papa John’s Contactless Delivery messages, curbside music at pick-up, numbered parking spots with a number to text when you arrive for pickup and most important, employees with a smile and pleasant attitude!
Our data here shows that most Texans are not quite sure what to think! 34% are in the middle, but older respondents appear most concerned about the safety of delivery services.

Restaurants need to offer reassurance up front and be extremely transparent about what they are doing to assure food safety.

 Consider highlighting food safety and kitchen cleanliness as part of your messaging. Package or wrap anything that can be packaged.
When it comes to ordering right now, Texans are focused on helping restaurant employees and saving some money themselves!

Consider waiving delivery fees, but encouraging a tip for hard-working, front-line delivery workers.

Let customers know how you are supporting your workers and be transparent about it. How about a thank you card (delivered with the meal) that lets customers know how much your restaurant and staff value their support?
What do you want to know?
TWi provides quick and easy market/customer research for businesses/brands, including actionable intelligence on how to read and react to the data informing your business decisions.

Investment: $600/survey
Turn Around Time: 72 hrs. (start to finish)
Deliverables: Question Development, Survey Deployment, Actionable Insights
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