10 Tips For Elevating Your Dining Experiences With Delivery

According to a survey of our diners, 36% of you admit to ordering delivery at least weekly! And because we love the idea that you’re enjoying your favorite meals at home, we’ve made it even easier to find your delivery options in one place. By partnering with providers like Caviar, Grubhub, Postmates, and UberEats, you can bring the restaurant experience home — all you need to do is download the OpenTable app. However, having amazing meals from your favorite spots (or those hard to book restaurants) conveniently brought to your doorstep isn’t enough to elevate the experience. We pulled together a few tips to help you enhance the experience:

Plan Ahead

Did you know you can schedule your meal deliveries? Well, you can! Delivery providers like UberEats and Caviar give you the option to choose when your meal gets delivered. So if you’re ordering lunch for the team brainstorm, channeling your inner home-maker for a dinner party, or heading home from an hour-long commute, you’re totally covered

Invite A Few Friends To Join You

83% of our diners enjoy eating out in front of the tv when they order take out. While that can be a great way to unwind, gathering with friends over a fantastic meal (and maybe some wine) can shake up the monotony and add a little spark to your week. Easily place a group order to accommodate an impromptu dinner party.

Do A Little Research

The OpenTable app puts thousands of restaurant options in the palm of your hand, which might feel a bit overwhelming when it’s time to decide on what to eat for lunch or dinner. Stop and take a moment to figure out what kind of foods or flavors you’re craving. American cuisine topped the list amongst our delivery diners at 54%, with Chinese food hot on its trail at 53%. Once you’ve made a decision about what to eat next, you’ll need to figure out where to order and when. Use our handy search filters in the app to help you narrow down suitable restaurant options near you.

Go For Foods That Travel Well

When you’re finally ready to place your order, you’ll want to consider a few factors, such as distance, weather, and traffic. These factors could affect when your food is delivered and if it withstands the journey. Fried foods are delicious, but not ideal for long-distance travel, 70% of our diners agree that French fries should be avoided because they tend to get a little soggy in transit. 46% of diners avoid egg dishes, while a small margin of millennials are concerned about the integrity of their pizza order. Sort your restaurant options by distance, so your meal is still intact when it arrives at your doorstep.

Order More So You’ll Have Leftovers

Ordering delivery a few times a week can get a bit pricey. Grabbing a little something extra for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner isn’t just an excellent money-saving move, it will also save you some time. 59% of our diners who order Chinese food are more likely to order leftovers. Italian food was a close second with 52% of diners. More egg rolls or another order of carbonara? Yes, please!

Always Leave A Tip

Your delivery courier may not have prepared your meal, but chances are they buckled it up for safekeeping, drove it your place, and brought it to your doorstep intact—sometimes in crazy weather conditions. Show your courier a little love and give them a tip! If you’re not sure how much, 10-15% is a good start.

Pair Your Meal With The Right Drink

Elevate your in-home dining experiences with the right drink pairings. Enjoy some bourbon with your bbq, a zero-proof cocktail for delicious vegan dishes, or a martini (shaken, not stirred) with pad thai. Not sure what to drink your meal? While we can’t send a sommelier or a mixologist to your home, we can offer a few helpful suggestions on which beverages pair best with which cuisines to get you started.

Add Some Ambiance With Music

Set the mood with a little music. Go for some jazz if you’re planning a quiet date night at home or maybe a playlist of your favorite 90’s pop stars for girls’ night. No matter who your favorite artist or which genre you prefer, having the right playlist is sure to set the tone and elevate your dining experience. Need a little help figuring out your vibe? Check out curated playlists by chefs Kathy Fang (FANG, San Francisco) and Chris Santos (Vandal, NYC), or our cuisine inspired playlists on Spotify for a little inspo.

Get Off The Couch And Set The Table

A proper table setting can bring that elevated restaurant feel into your home. 34% of our diners prefer to plop down on the couch when dining on take out, but maybe it’s time to change that. You can elevate any casual dining experience use with a beautiful table cloth, using those fancy serving platters that have never seen the light of day, and your favorite condiments. Also, maybe ditch the plastic ware and put your utensils to use. 42% of our diners eat their delivery meals with their own plates and utensils, a fact that saves the planet and makes us proud! Try it out for yourself and check out our tips on how to properly set the table.

Snap A Quick Photo!

Now that your table is set, your glass is half empty, and your food is perfectly plated, it’s time to take a FOMO-inducing Instagram photo. Make all of your friends and followers jealous as you set the scene for an elegant night in and make sure to share your pics with us using #MyOpenTable for a chance to win in our monthly giveaway.

Don’t forget to let us know your experience with delivery on OpenTable here in the comments or over on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.