Many people are turning to food delivery apps to satisfy their cravings—even the weird ones you might not want others to know about.
But what happens on Uber Eats doesn’t always stay on Uber Eats.
Uber has released its fifth annual Uber Eats Appetite Report, revealing the most popular, weirdest and most unpredictable special requests for 2023.
Customers rely on the delivery service to get almost anything they can think of, from toilet paper to vodka to flowers and, of course, food. They also depend on the app to meet their expectations for special delivery requests – no matter how unusual.
One person asked a restaurant to place her order in a box rather than a round container, stating: “I refuse to eat food if it is presented in a round container. Please don’t spoil my food.’
Another picky eater asked for her food to be swimming in sauce: “Please dunk the whole bowl in white sauce with a swirl of red sauce!!!! Thank you so much!!!! Just do what I ask of you.’
Some users put a sense of humor in their requests.
“Hello family of angels! Long time no order! Breasts please! Please fry me some big breasts! Thank you so excited!” one wrote.
“Extra cheese sauce please 🙂 I’ll pay for it. I’m drunk too so if you load it up you’ll make me the happiest drunk girl ever,” someone with the drunks – aka “drunken bites” – begged.
Speaking of drunks, college campuses had quite a few late-night (12-4am) orders on Uber Eats, with Penn State University leading the way, followed by the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University.
And even regulars at certain locations had their requests: “Hello again, lovely pizza dreamers! Can I have tons of green olives and mushrooms?’
“Please fry my chicken VERY high. Very very crispy. Almost burned!” said another very, very excited person.
“I’m very serious about my spice, so please make it super super super hot, fiery spicy. Making me cry 😢 🥵 hot!!! More 🔥🔥🔥🔥 Please hurt me! Let’s be as spicy as possible. The hotter the better!!!”
Some people made it a point to take care of their loved ones with requests like, “My cats think your chicken is crack, so this is for them!” or “Can you write a note on the coffee that says ‘I hope you have a great day jojo, proud of you <3”. This is for a girl I really like. Thank you very much!"
Others channeled their inner food writer and decided the request box was a good place to write a novel.
“Life is not all carefree laughter and good times, life is really messy sometimes. As I kicked off my shoes and freed myself from the hourly stupid show I call a career, I wondered where I was going to get my dinner. I went and placed my order and when that order entered my home, my fortress of solitude, my day was saved. Gone is the stress, hunger and bad attitude I was harboring,” writes one contender for a bestseller.
Another admits: “Every once in a while a dish not only tortures your taste buds but transports you – and the offerings here managed to do just that. It wasn’t just a meal; it was a celebration of Caribbean culture and culinary arts. Thank you for delivering a piece of the Caribbean right to my doorstep.”
Uber’s report reveals some of the weirdest food combinations people ordered in 2023, including steak and jelly; cottage cheese and mustard; condensed milk and avocado; seaweed and pasta sauce; and butter and pickled onions.
However, not everyone was so experimental with their food.
The most popular combinations were a burrito and cheese bowl; French fries and salt; chicken and shredded lettuce sandwich; cheeseburger and mustard; and wings with ranch dressing.
The most ordered items in 2023 consisted of fries, garlic naan, pad thai, miso soup and California roll, while the most popular requests for delivery in the US included: no onions, dressing on the side, ranch, extra soy sauce, spicy , sauce on the side, no lettuce, no jalapeños, extra sauce and no coleslaw.
The top choice for delivered dessert was the all-American apple pie with 2 million orders nationwide.
Uber also looked at the manners of foodies and found that those in San Francisco, California; Richmond, Virginia; Detroit, Michigan; Bakersfield, California; and Charleston, South Carolina, are the most polite, writing “please” and “thank you” in their requests – and Olympia, Washington; Asheville, North Carolina; and Bismarck, North Dakota, were the most generous tips.
And people are mindful of others when ordering, especially those returning to the office, removing onions from their orders to avoid bad breath.