Uber Eats is the kind of job where you experience the best and the worst of people. Some customers will be picky and demanding, and others will be patient and generous. But in between the extremes lies a world of shades of grey wherein customers are perfectly normal or perfectly bizarre. Uber Eats has compiled their yearly Uber Eats Craving Report, looking back on some of the most interesting orders and requests from 2021. We’re taking a look at the best of the Cravings Report.
Favorite Cuisines of 2021
First, let’s take a look at which types of foods people were feeling in 2021. With the stress of the pandemic stretching into its second year, people were definitely looking for some fun foods and telling calorie counts to take a hike. So which cuisine made it on top?
- 10. Vietnamese
- 9. Breakfast items like bagels and donuts
- 8. Mediterranean
- 7. Thai
- 6. Sushi
- 5. Pizza
- 4. Indian
- 3. Chinese
- 2. Burgers and sandwiches
And the favorite type of cuisine for Uber Eats customers in 2021?
- 1. Mexican.
But Uber Eats did more than track interesting popular trends in type of cuisine, they compiled some other interesting data as well. In the Cravings Report, let’s take a look at some fascinating facts that emerged this year including trends and changes from previous years:
- Grocery Delivery: While it seems obvious that the pandemic has accelerated grocery delivery, it’s stunning just to see how fast it’s moved it forward. According to the report, grocery delivery operations were accelerated by several years due to demand over 2021. And just as a point of interest – one Uber Eats customer ordered over $7,700 worth of groceries in one go.
- Bananas: Bananas are having their moment in the US, ranking #1 for grocery items across the country. Uber Eats reports that in September alone, they sold over 25,000 pounds of the perfect fruit. That’s just bananas.
- Repeat: Some customers know what they like, and stick to their favorites. One customer in Raleigh, North Carolina, ordered from Zayka Indian Cuisine 904 times. Another customer in Nashville, Tennessee, ordered Pasta Amore 794. And now we want to order from those places too and see what all the buzz is about.
- Cheese Fries: Everyone knows that cheese fries are every menu’s secret weapon, the one item that trumps everything else. But did you know that side orders of cheese fries increased by a whopping 1,234% in 2021? Well now you do!
- Southern manners: Not so fast, Southern states. It turns out that the most polite customers, using “please” and “thank you” regularly in their instructions, come from Montana, Vermont, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.
- Tip o’ the hat: Customers in Asheville, NC, Santa Fe, NM and the Florida Keys gave the best tips.
- Bring on the greens: Florence, SC, Cincinnati, OH, and Miami, FL were the cities with the healthiest eaters.
- Who needs salad?: Northern Missouri, Southern Arkansas and West Texas has customers who were satisfying cravings – healthy or not- the most often.
If you’re fascinated by people’s ordering habits, you’re probably wondering if Uber kept some of the juicy details from people’s orders – the bizarre things people ask for. Never fear, they have. So next time you order something strange, maybe keep that in mind. Here are some of our favorite requests from customers, from the exacting to the hilarious:
- “I hope you’re excited, because you’re about to create a masterpiece. Place the extra granola at the bottom, followed by the base and the original toppings (please place all the extra toppings I ordered, that are duplicated in the original recipe, into a single, side container).” You know what? Props for knowing what you like and valuing the food.
- “Please make sure that there are a TON of mushrooms. Like I literally love mushrooms. Some reasonable people when they say extra cheese, they mean like maybe 50% more cheese. I am not a reasonable person. I like a sh–load of mushrooms. Please. I love mushrooms.” We do too, Mushroom Lover.
- “Good day, great menu, and thank you SO much once again for your outstanding food, commitment to community, and exceptional ethics ~ I feel blessed to exist within your orbit, and celebrate my good fortune at every opportunity to avail myself of the fruits of your labour… Here’s to staying safe, sane, sated and full bellied!” Did they get extra breadsticks? We feel like they deserve some extra breadsticks for the love which is not at all creepy and over the top.
- “Hello favorite salad maker. It’s me, your friendly neighborhood #saladlady.” Are they married yet? Salad Maker and Salad Lady 2022: save the date.
- “This will go as a thank you to the South Miami Nurses who helped me deliver my baby. Two separate units. One will go to LABOR AND DELIVERY, the other to MATERNITY UNIT. Please write LABOR & DELIVERY: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help bringing my baby to our arms on Monday. We will never forget you and the wonderful experience.” Healthcare worker are the heroes of the pandemic, so this one warms our hearts.
- “Oh ye, paragons of pastries craft, yon into hither box the reaping of your craft. Please hook me up with 10 maple bars or as close as you can (please no ‘filled’ it’s too much raw maple. I know, you’re thinking ‘this guy needs to up his maple tolerance’ and you’re right, but I’m working on it, baby steps.) and then a couple glazed old fashioned as well. You guys are the real MVPs out here doin’ the doughnut work, I’ll raise a glass in your honor… then I will put the glass down and stuff my face with doughnuts like a…. fat guy… eating doughnuts.” If someone want to tip us with a poetic rambling, that’s almost as good as cash. This guy probably gave both though.
- “No notes on the sandwich. You always nail it. I do wanna tell you about a thing that’s been bugging me since 2005. In Grillz by Nelly he said ‘rob the jewelry store and tell them make me a grill’. First of all, I’m assuming the risk by robbing the place so I’m not taking your requests. Second… think what you’re asking. Grillz take weeks to make, we gonna give them your dental records to shape it Nelly? Also… your face bandaid is dumb.” We sure hope the next order delivered by Uber Eats was some cream for Nelly to heal that serious burn.
- “Let’s give this a try tonight please. I like hot & spicy !! Make me cry 😢 🥵 Hot!!! Please make me hurt. Make extra extra extra burning super super hot and spicy!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Make it so spicy you would not even eat soooooo spicy.” Something gives us a feeling this person likes hot food. We hope they’re talking about wings.
- “Hi! This is my first time ordering. So I have a 75 lb dog (Vizsla, Google it, they’re really pretty but big and agile lol), and I know she’s going to be super begging for these wings and whatever else I order… is there any way you could pretty please throw in something for her? She’s 8 and the sweetest and smartest thing. She can literally smile on command, amongst a ton of other tricks.” Kinda curious to find out if the pup ever got her special delivery.
- “I just really need a phillips head screwdriver.” Don’t we all, mysterious Uber Eats customer?
Weird Pairs and Love Affairs
We’re also curious to see what bizarre food pairings people ordered. Some of these are probably related to pregnancy cravings – but to everyone who’s just a food freak, we see you and we love you. Here are the most eyebrow-raising food combos from this year’s Craving Reports:
- Burgers and honey. Okay, we’re trying this one at the next barbecue.
- Spaghetti and ketchup. Was the tomato-based spaghetti sauce not enough tomato for you?
- Yogurt parfait and hot Cheetos. No comment on this.
- Hot dog and peanut sauce. Considering how many meats peanut sauce enhances, this one is probably right on target.
- Fish and macaroni and cheese. Genius, pure genius. This person should open their own restaurant. Although that depends on the fish – tuna might be a bridge too far.
- Pizza and sauerkraut. Are you OK, Uber Eats friend?
- Ice cream and hot sauce. This was definitely a pregnant person.
- Watermelon and yellow mustard. We aren’t saying we’d try this, but we wouldn’t turn it down if someone made it for us.
- Bell pepper and cream cheese. Is this a weird combination? It seems pretty delicious.
- Prosciutto and pickles. We changed our mind, this is the pregnant person.
It’s pretty cool getting a peak into the world of Uber Eats. Tracking food trends and customer behavior gives the company a fascinating insight into the way people relate to their food. Now that Uber Eats has expanded beyond just delivering from restaurants, customers can choose from items at drug stores, grocery stores, and other convenience locations. The Cravings Report is an interesting, often funny, look into the way we as a country are pacing through the year of food while still stuck at home. Once the world opens up more and people begin venturing out more, it will be fascinating to see what changes and what stay the same. For now, we’re heading out to get some hamburger meat and honey – and we’ll report back on that.