Health & EnvironmentPosted on 27.04.2020

The way people are eating is changing

Life in lockdown has changed so much for all of us, and the nation’s eating habits have changed too. We’ve identified some of the key dining trends that could be great opportunities for your business, from popular dishes to ordering times. 

Did you know?

•Under lockdown, dinner orders are starting 2.5hrs earlier, at 5pm
• There’s been a 36% rise in dessert orders - with chocolate fudge cake taking top spot
• Families and housemates are coming together to eat more meals, more often - that means there is potential for larger order values

The changes we’re seeing now

As everyone settles into life in lockdown our eating habits have adjusted to reflect our long days at home. While the trend of baking banana bread may have taken social media by storm, it seems the joy of tucking into our favourite takeaway has remained a staple for households across the country.

Data from Just Eat has revealed that following the Government’s instruction to stay at home, our eating habits have begun to adapt to life indoors.

Without the daily commute people are getting hungry earlier. Instead of waiting until 7:30 for dinner, orders for evening meals are now starting two and a half hours earlier at 5pm.

Lunch has followed suit, with a trend in lunch orders peaking just before midday. Our data indicates that with schools now closed and parents working from home, families who would typically have dinner at different times are coming together to eat earlier in the evening before youngsters’ bedtime. Have you set up your restaurant to cope with an earlier dinner rush?

When it comes to what we’re ordering there’s been a 36% rise in desserts. Signalling the need for small joys during these unsettling times, chocolate fudge cake, strawberry cheesecake and apple pie have become the top after dinner treats. Similarly, we have seen a rise in sides and drinks, as many crave the taste of firm favourites they may no longer be able to get in supermarkets. If you haven’t got desserts on the menu, could you consider adding some? Or do you have a range of new side dishes you were hoping to test on your menus?

One of the biggest trends we are seeing is the rise of food delivery earlier in the week. As each day blurs into the other and the concept of time becomes illusive, gone too is the mentality of a Friday or Saturday night treat. While vast amounts of people continue to order at the weekend, people are getting more meals delivered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, perhaps as a reward for getting through the tough start of the working week or breaking the back of hump day. Make sure you are set up to handle any unexpected rushes - and remember, if you’re really busy, you can adjust your delivery radius and delivery times on Partner Centre.

One of the benefits of staying home has been more quality time with family or housemates, which has been reflected in the way we’re eating. More households are ordering meals for three or more people indicating that we’re making the most of mealtimes to come together with those we’re in lockdown with, and feel a sense of closeness even though we’re miles apart from so many people we love. Having family meal deal offers on your menu might help you tap into this trend.


We hope these insights give you ideas about how to make more of every order. Set up your menu and opening hours to feed these new eating habits, over on Partner Centre.