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Dieting is over, picky eaters and quarantine cravings: A look inside delivery requests sent to Uber Eats

Uber Eats released its 2020 Cravings Report, detailing how Canadians' diets going out the window, their picky eating habits and special requests when ordering up.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Ever wonder how Canadians' eating habits change when a pandemic is going on? Since it released its Cravings Report for 2020, Uber Eats is able to give a glimpse into how people are craving, ordering and eating during highly uncertain times.

Interestingly, picky eating and signs that diets are becoming passé are among the biggest discoveries coming out of the report.

The most popular delivery requests in Canada

Generally, Canadians asked for more things to be removed from their meals rather than making substitutions or changes. While 'extra sauce' was the most requested thing when it came to orders across the country, it's quickly followed by people asking for no tomato, no onion and no cheese in their dishes. While the request for extra cheese or making something spicy is a given, we're a little surprised to see that asking for something to be well-done was in the top requests overall; we're just hoping that doesn't refer to steaks.

  1. Extra sauce
  2. No onion
  3. No tomato
  4. Spicy
  5. No cheese
  6. Extra spicy
  7. Well done
  8. Sauce on the side
  9. Extra mayo

When it comes to individual cities, it turns out that Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa and Montreal all tend to ask for no onion the most.

Meanwhile, Vancouver, Toronto Winnipeg and Quebec City want to keep things saucy, as they all ask for extra sauce with their meals.

Where are the most picky eaters in Canada?

Maybe it's because Canadians don't need to look their servers in the eye when ordering delivery through an app, but picky eating appeared be among the big trends this year.

When it comes to Canadians wanting their food a certain way, the most “no” items included no onions, no tomatoes, no ice (likely to avoid beverages from being watered down during delivery), no cheese and no bacon.

As for requesting extra options, the most popular items were extra sauce, extra spicy, extra pickles, extra mayo and extra cheese; go big or go home, Canada.

As for who's making special requests the most, orders coming out of Alberta had the most special instructions attached to what they wants. Meanwhile, hats off to Nova Scotia; apparently, that province hardly ever asks for any special requests or adjustments when ordering food.

Big surprise: Canada is more polite than the US

Canadians tend to pride themselves on being polite—even though we're fully capable of being a bunch of jerks, too—so maybe it's no surprise that 50% of customers from the Great White North tend to add 'please' or 'thank you' to their orders online, whereas only 40% of US customers add those kinds of notes.

The most polite customers can be found in Quebec and Manitoba; Uber Eats reports that they use their Ps & Qs the most in their special instructions.

Quarantine cravings: This is no time to diet

You probably know someone who's been putting on the pandemic pounds. It seems like when we all had to stay home, dieting went completely out the window, and that's something that continues even now as several provinces can go out and about now (or 'oot and aboot', depending on who you ask).

Requests for “extra sauce,” “extra cheese”, “extra onion,” and “no lettuce” increased the most during 2020, and if that's not enough evidence for you, note that requests for “gluten free,” “sauce on (the) side”, and “dressing on the side” decreased—those last two refer to a dieting trend involving salad, which might imply Canadians can't be bothered to think about how to eat. They just want to eat it.

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