michele piacquadio/Getty Images/iStockphoto
The study authors said people who ordered pizza online spent more money and asked for higher-calorie items.
The ordering habits of the masses have changed thanks to apps like Seamless.
For some, the main selling point for these services, other than convenience, is that they save them from talking to another human being while placing their food order.
But why do people hate ordering food over the phone or at a counter?
A study from Duke University found that consumers are often embarrassed by what they really want to eat.
This is especially true if the item is difficult to pronounce, loaded with calories or the order is overly complex, researchers said. So, take away the middleman, and people will alter their orders accordingly.
Kevin P. Coughlin
Online ordering services like Seamless make it easier for people to order whatever they want without worrying about being judged for it.
In the study, the team looked at how the sales of a regional pizza chain changed after it started allowing customers to order online, Slate reported.
Now that they no longer had to talk to someone, people went to town on their pizza topping. They spent an average of $ 0.61 more per order on those extra, and often calorie-laden, toppings, researchers said. Orders were also 15% more complicated.
The study suggests that, since the number of total pizzas did not increase but the number of people ordering double bacon did, customers feel more comfortable placing unhealthy and specialized orders online.
As Slate puts it, “The picture painted is one of people avoiding the awkwardness of complex — and fattening — orders online and making simpler — and healthier — ones when they had to deal with a real, live person.”
The study authors also looked at a case where, in the late ’80s, a Swedish liquor store shifted to a self-serve format where customers no longer had to interact with a sales clerk. Store sales jumped almost 20%, and more people started buying wine and spirits with complicated names.