Food & Drink

These are the busiest times for ordering a takeaway online, according to science

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Harvey Day
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These are the busiest times for ordering a takeaway, according to science

Research from the University of Aberdeen has pinpointed the busiest times for ordering fast food online - so you can avoid the takeaway rush hours 

When you’ve had a long, miserable day at work and you crash down on the sofa longing for an early retirement or a merciful early death, the absolute last thing on your mind is getting up to cook an elaborate meal. But the next time that inevitable fast food temptation takes over, bear in mind that researchers have now pinpointed the busiest times when people are ordering pizzas and Chinese dumplings online, so you can avoid the fast food rush hours.

Biologists at the University of Aberdeen studied patterns of looking for food online across the UK, the United States, Canada, Australia and India, according to the BBC.

The big data research, to be published by the Royal Society, found two ‘twin peaks’ in all the countries – at 7pm and then at 2am.

The 7pm bump makes total sense: when people are home from work. But the 2am peak is more interesting. No doubt there’ll be a contingent of people coming home from a night out and longing for a drunken snack but, according to researchers, that’s not the main driving factor.

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Avoid 7pm when you next order food 

Explaining the 2am rush, researchers Nicolas Alvarado and Tyler Stevenson argued that it shows how human biology, such as wanting “energy balance” in terms of intake, had switched to the internet age.

He said it shows a modern form of “foraging behaviour” and how the primeval hunting instinct has now moved to late-night searching on the internet.

“All organisms have strategies to locate and consume nutrients and food necessary for survival,” says Dr Stevenson.

The latest studies confirms earlier research that pinpointed the exact time and day when Brits are most likely to order a takeaway.

A 2016 survey found that 7.24pm on Friday night was prime takeaway time in UK households. What’s more, the average Brit will shell out a mouth-watering £28,420 in their lifetime on takeaways, according to the research.

So if you’re looking for a speedy delivery next time, try to avoid the 7pm slot as this is more than likely going to be the busiest moment of the day for takeaways.

Just make sure, you know, you’re not having takeaways all the time and that you’re doing the occasional spot of exercise. 

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Harvey Day

Digital writer for Shortlist.com / @harveyday94 / harvey.day@shortlist.com

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