Recapping a busy week for delivery companies

If you blinked this week, you might have missed a development or two in the third-party world. Here’s what happened.
Photo courtesy of Lyft

If you blinked this week, you probably missed at least one development in the third-party delivery space. Since the pandemic began, the services have been busy innovating in a quest to capture new, loyal users, and the past five days were no exception.

Here’s a recap of what went down and what to watch for.

Grubhub’s new partnership

Grubhub announced a partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft that will give Lyft Pink members a complimentary subscription to Grubhub+.

Lyft Pink and Grubhub+ are the companies’ respective subscription programs that offer reduced fees and perks. Grubhub+ users, for instance, get unlimited free delivery and the occasional free food or discount. It costs $9.99 a month, but Lyft Pink members will get it for free with their $19.99 monthly subscription.

It’s unclear how many people subscribe to Lyft Pink, but the deal has the potential to greatly expand Grubhub’s user base with loyal customers who would have an incentive to order through it over another delivery provider.

Lyft is the second-largest ride-hailing service in the U.S. behind Uber. For the fourth quarter of 2019, it reported 22.9 million active riders. (That number has been harshly impacted by the pandemic.)

  • Also this week, shareholders of Just Eat approved the company’s $6.9 billion deal to acquire Grubhub, Reuters reported. However, they rejected Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney’s proposed pay package: $745,000 for 2021, with long-term incentives of up to 1,000% of that amount. The deal was still expected to close in the first half of next year, pending Gruhbub shareholder and regulatory approval, according to Reuters.

DoorDash’s new service

DoorDash is hoping to grab a piece of the corporate foodservice market, introducing a suite of products designed for employers to use as meal perks for workers. That could be in the form of meal credits, a DashPass subscription or group orders to the office. 

This could be helpful for restaurants in urban areas that depended on catering and office workers pre-pandemic. And it can also instantly create a pool of new customers. For instance, Mount Sinai medical system in New York City partnered with DoorDash to give DashPass subscriptions to all of its 42,000 employees. That’s a big chunk of likely loyal new users.

  • Also this week, DoorDash announced $2 million in grants for restaurants in select cold weather cities. The $5,000 grants are available to restaurants with three or fewer locations in Chicago, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and San Jose. They are to be used to help adapt to colder temperatures with things like heating equipment or additional PPE for safer indoor dining.

Uber Eats’ new look

Uber Eats updated its app with features intended to enhance discoverability. 

New bells and whistles include the ability to quickly reorder from a favorite restaurant or select from a carousel of nearby “hidden gems” or healthy options, tailored to users’ preferences.

In theory, a more bespoke experience should make users more likely to return to the app, which could be good for restaurants listed there.

Waitr’s tableside service

Waitr, the Layfayette, La.-based delivery company that views itself as a potential acquisition target, added dine-in service to its platform. 

By scanning a QR code, Waitr users can order and pay from their phone while seated in a restaurant. Uber Eats and DoorDash have introduced similar, QR code-driven features.

“Contactless service has become increasingly important amid the pandemic for safety reasons. This new product will serve the need of restaurants that are bolstering their safety protocol, and will help make diners feel safer since the ordering process is contact free,” said CEO Carl Grimstad in a statement.

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