Amazon adds restaurant delivery to its menu of services
Even as Amazon faces new competition in grocery delivery from Google, the e-tailer is looking to move into another equally crowded area of food delivery — restaurants.
Amazon is piloting a program in Seattle that brings food from restaurants to peoples’ doorsteps. This model, which has been common for pizza parlors for decades, has more recently grown popular for other types of restaurants in large part due to the increasing prominence of third-party sites and delivery services.
According to USA Today, the Amazon restaurant service is being piloted as part of the Prime Now program. Prime Now, itself a benefit of the Amazon Prime service that is available only in select cities, allows members to get Amazon orders delivered in one hour for $7.99 or within two hours for free. Prime members in Seattle will be able to order delivery from participating downtown restaurants through the Prime app.
Source: Amazon PrimeNow – Seattle
Amazon’s current list of local restaurants indicates a potential focus on a foodie client-base, rather than a general fast-food audience. TechCrunch reports that Amazon says it has set a "high bar" for restaurants for which it will deliver. While no big chains are currently associated with the endeavor, Amazon is not ruling out their participation.
Online ordering from restaurants through third-party sites has caught on over the past decade with companies such as Seamless and GrubHub (which, as of a 2013 merger, have been two brands of the same company) dominating the space. Until recently, these services handled the ordering and restaurants had their own staff fulfill the deliveries. However, according to a Crain’s article, GrubHub had been testing its own delivery service and is now taking over the delivery duties for a percentage of the restaurants for which it facilitates online ordering.
GrubHub did not indicate to Crain’s how many delivery people it would be employing to handle the fulfillment.
Other names known in both e-commerce and delivery are also rushing to take on the work of delivery for restaurants. After acquiring a delivery startup called OrderUp, Groupon launched a service called Groupon to Go for restaurants, which it claims saves users money on the food they order.
And as Uber continues to try to expand into areas outside of ride-sharing, it has recently rolled out UberEats in a number of major cities which allows users to order limited menu items during certain parts of the day.
- Amazon starts testing restaurant delivery – USA Today
- Grubhub moves into food delivery – Crain’s Chicago Business
- Amazon Launches A Food Delivery Service Via Prime Now, Starting in Seattle – TechCrunch
- GrubHub and Seamless Create Combo Platter – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Groupon Launches Its Own Food Delivery Business, Group to Go – TechCrunch
- Uber Serves Up Its Food Delivery Service UberEats To San Francisco – Forbes.com
Can Amazon scale its restaurant delivery and gain dominance in a market with so many competitors, big and small? In your opinion, which of the restaurant delivery options has the greatest potential staying power?