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Grubhub unveils first-party ordering platform for independent restaurants

Grubhub Direct will allow restaurants to create their own websites and gather customer data while paying lower fees.
Grubhub sticker on door
Photograph: Shutterstock

Grubhub on Wednesday unveiled a new product that will allow independent restaurants to create their own ordering websites and marketing campaigns.

The new platform, called Grubhub Direct, will give mom-and-pops access to customer data including names, email addresses and order history, which restaurants can use to run promotions and loyalty programs. They'll also pay fewer fees on orders that come through that website.

It's a more "self-serve" version of an existing Grubhub product for chains, said Theresa Dold, the company's VP of agency services and products for restaurants. Both are powered by LevelUp, a software developer founded in 2011 that Grubhub acquired in 2018.

The idea is to help independents take more ownership of their business as more traffic shifts to online.

"We know that restaurants want to be in control of their own journey and their own success with their customers," Dold said.

Grubhub Direct webpageImage courtesy of Grubhub

Currently, indies that partner with Grubhub rely on the company's own marketplace to generate orders for them. But those orders carry commissions for marketing and, if applicable, delivery, and restaurants don't get individual customers' data.

Grubhub Direct puts more of those tools into restaurants' hands at a reduced cost. They can create a custom website, update menus and hours, manage orders, view customer data and analytics and run various types of marketing and loyalty campaigns. In exchange, they'll pay no marketing fee on orders that come through the channel. They'll still be charged a "highly competitive" delivery fee on orders handled by Grubhub drivers, as well as the usual order processing fee of 30 cents plus 3.05% of the order total.

They'll also pay a $49 web hosting fee per location per month and a $99 setup fee. Grubhub is waiving both of those charges through April 2022. 

Grubhub Direct is designed for restaurants with from one to a few locations, and will officially roll out over the coming months, Dold said.

It is similar to products launched last summer by competitors DoorDash and Uber Eats, which themselves replicate the services offered by companies like Olo, ChowNow and many others. 

Grubhub Direct webpageImage courtesy of Grubhub

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