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  • Survey finds Internet users crave more online ordering options from restaurants

SAN FRANCISCO -- A national study conducted on the Internet by Food.com, a provider of online ordering systems for restaurants, found consumer desire to order restaurant meals online is higher than ever.

Polling more than 2,500 respondents, the survey focused on understanding the off-premise dining habits of Internet users and their attitudes toward online ordering.

It also analyzed the off-premise dining habits of consumers by industry segment (casual, pizza and quick service restaurants) by asking them about their dining habits with 30 national chains.

The survey found that Internet users are heavy consumers of take-home meals, they want to order those meals either through a computer or another web-enabled device, such as a cell phone or PDA, and are more likely than their non-wired peers to order meals from restaurants for at-home consumption.

Other key findings included:

* Ninety-seven percent of respondents order off-premise meals for home.

* Eighty-one percent order off-premise dinner 5.5 times per month (compared to 2.6 on average. Source: Technomics).

* Seventy-seven percent would like to be able to order meals directly from their computers.

* Convenient, self-paced ordering is highly valued.

"With more than 64 percent of U.S. households online (source: Harris Poll), and Q1 2002 e-commerce sales at $9.8 billion, (source: iMarketing News Daily), the Internet is clearly a channel that restaurant chains should consider engaging," said Trevor Fagerskog, CEO of Food.com. "These survey respondents are active online purchasers with 52 percent purchasing something online at least once a month, and 11 percent purchasing online weekly. Our study clearly shows that consumers want to transact online with their favorite restaurant brands."

According to a company release, Food.com's Internet ordering system is used by more than 3,000 restaurants and major restaurant chains.

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