The most common terms found on Grubhub menus

2 months ago by James Mattone in Facts, Trends

Across its number of platforms, Grubhub ($NYSE:GRUB) delivers food from tens of thousands of restaurants. Among those eateries are hundreds of thousands of menu items with millions of words of ingredients.

We took a look at the most-common food items and terms across America via hundreds of thousands of menus. Why? Because we could.

Here's a word cloud of the most popular single word phrases found in those menu items across the platform:

Chicken is the most popular single word phrase on the platform, and for good reason; you can do plenty with chicken.

You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's chicken-kabobs, chicken creole, chicken gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple chicken, lemon chicken, coconut chicken, pepper chicken, chicken soup, chicken stew, chicken salad, chicken and potatoes, chicken burger, chicken sandwich. That... That's about it

(Editor's note: You left out yakitori. Did you know, in Japan, they cook chicken on skewers?)

Forrest Gump references aside, chicken is one of the most popular proteins in the world, so it's no surprise that over 70,000 menu items have the word "chicken" in it.

But what's more interesting is that the word "Supreme" is in the top-50 singular words in menu items on the platform. That's because there are thousands of Taco Bell ($NYSE:YUM) restaurants on Grubhub thanks to a deal the two companies struck in early 2018.

On a typical Taco Bell menu, the word "Supreme" — a phrase used when discussing the addition of sour cream and diced tomatoes to a menu item — appears 13 times, or 20 times if individual meat options count as their own separate food items.

Even with every Taco Bell not available on Grubhub, not every Supreme item appearing on online order menus, and the possibility that some Surpreme items can be listed under a different name or as an add-on option, there are still over 8,500 Supreme items across Grubhub.

Digging into more menu items

Along with keyword searches, a closer look at specific menu items reveal how big Taco Bell's influence is on Grubhub.

Name  Name (Count) 
French Fries  31,216
Caesar Salad  26,116
Bottled Water  24,396
Onion Rings  20,176
Soda  19,694
Greek Salad  18,999
Cheesy Roll Up  17,106
Iced Tea  16,901
Garden Salad  15,096
Orange Juice  14,685
Mozzarella Sticks  14,444
House Salad  14,254
Coffee  13,791
Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito  12,832
Chips and Salsa  12,792
Cheese Quesadilla  12,609
Garlic Bread  11,103
Cheeseburger  10,853
Hawaiian Pizza  10,365
2 Liter Soda  9,966

Although you could order these items at other Mexican restaurants, Taco Bell has Cheese Quesadillas (#16), Chips and Salsa (#15), Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito (#14), Cheesy Roll Ups (#7). It also had French Fries, the number one individual food item across all GrubHub menus, for a limited time with its signature queso. Further down the list, their Cinnabon Delights and Cinnamon Twists are in the top-40.

Yum! Brands, the owner of Taco Bell, may have found a way to get some major influence on Gen X and Millenials, two massive populations who order more takeout than any other age group in America either by dollars spent or by percentage of income. And that could bode well on their future returns when those same young customers have kids... Or when they decide not to and continue to spend that sweet discretionary income on all the chalupas they can eat.

James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, and he has an interest in video games, music, and tech news. You can find him on Twitter @TheJamesMattone.

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