How Food Delivery Services are Spending on Social Media During COVID-19

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How Food Delivery Services are Spending on Social Media During COVID-19
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Photo by Brett Jordan via Unsplash

We analyzed BrandTotal marketing data from March 19 - June 10 across the food delivery category to see major brands and services are utilizing paid social media marketing campaigns.

Food delivery brands have been in demand as the coronavirus crisis has meant that people are eating out less. With more people staying and working at home, we look at how food delivery companies are responding to the current crisis and allocating their paid social media spending.

Aside for the increase in activity, there have also been some acquisitions in the industry. Grubhub was quietly acquired by Dutch food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway.

What we found: 

Brands spending the most were Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, and Caviar

Brands in this category mainly targeted the 25-34 and 35-44 age brackets. 61% of ads were targeted at males, and 45% of ads were aimed at singles. 

Sponsored impressions grew steadily from the beginning of the period analyzed. This peaked around April 22, coinciding with Uber’s dark Twitter campaign of “$0 Delivery Fee, 5% off every order and a donation of $1 to the National Restaurant Employee Relief Fund per order”.


There was another peak around May 13th driven by DoorDash’s dark Instagram “Will you join me for dinner” campaign. 


Sponsored impressions then tailed off for the period analyzed.

Noteworthy Campaigns

DoorDash Mentions their Competition

DoorDash took the unusual step of promoting competitors, with their #OpenForDelivery campaign. This Twitter campaign generated 18.3k likes and 3.1k retweets.


Partnering with Restaurants

A trend over this period was food delivery companies running campaigns where they collaborated with well-known restaurant brands such as Burger King, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A. Messaging was simple, and the creatives showed the food available from the restaurant chains.






Postmates Partners with Familiar Faces

Postmates used a variety of celebrities in its #OrderLocal campaign, including Cara DeLevingne.


COVID-19 Responses

UberEats referenced the crisis and how it has affected restaurant workers. The company offered to match donations up to $5M.


DoorDash offered their support to restaurant owners in dark ads that showed ways DoorDash could assist these merchants.


Stadium referenced the ongoing crisis with their promotion geared towards work-from-home employees.


Food Delivery Services and Social Media Spending

Food delivery companies have been providing a crucial service to consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The brands analyzed used innovative techniques such as collaborating with other well-known brands and celebrities to bring attention to their campaigns.

Want more data?

Download our latest Paid Social Snapshot Report: QSR & Fast Food

Get an in-depth snapshot of QSR brands' paid social activity over time.

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