Financing

Delivery’s third-party players

Takeout’s sibling, delivery, is seeing notable activity as well, and it’s mainly coming from third-party providers and the investors who seem to love them.

GrubHub, the online behemoth that, until now, just facilitated orders between customers and local restaurants, has branched into actually doing the delivery, with the acquisition of DiningIn and Restaurants on the Run earlier this year. It is charging the same 14 percent fee as it did for its traditional online service. GrubHub’s revenues climbed 50 percent last year to $73 million and analysts expect $85 million in revenues this year.

But it is not the only entrant. Postmates, Sprig, SpoonRocket, Caviar and Munchery all are looking to disrupt the delivery business. Combined, they raised $78 million in funding last year.

While the others all contract with restaurants, Munchery basically is a delivery-only restaurant. It hires local chefs to build rotating menus and operations currently are limited to San Francisco and Seattle.

L.A.-based fast-casual Tender Greens just contracted with Postmates. “We talked to a lot of services,” says Tender Greens spokesperson Christina Wong. “The biggest issue—we have 17 locations and Postmates was the only company that could service all of our area.”

But these hungry upstarts better move fast, because Amazon now has entered the fray. The online retailer expanded its Amazon Local delivery service in Seattle last year to include restaurant delivery. Google—through its Google Express service—also is expected to join the party soon.

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