The extension of online restaurant guides into meal delivery leaped forward this month with acquisitions by two giants in the field, Yelp and GrubHub.
Yelp, the controversial online directory consisting largely of consumer reviews, paid $134 million for Eat24, a service that delivers food from some 20,000 restaurants in markets throughout the country. Eat24 fields orders via an app and website.
With the deal, a consumer looking for a restaurant meal can scout the possibilities on Yelp, book a table via the service, or order delivery seamlessly through Eat24.
It’s the same frictionless experience GrubHub is hoping to offer through its simultaneous acquisitions of two meal-delivery services. Dining In is based on the East Coast, while Restaurants on the Run is a West Coast operation. Together, the two transport meals form about 3,000 restaurants in a dozen or so markets nationwide.
GrubHub is reportedly paying $80 million in total for the pair.
The convergence of online reviews, ordering capabilities and meal delivery has been accelerating in recent months as third parties jockey to become one-stop-options for restaurants and consumers. The derby includes such big-name digital players as Uber and Amazon, both of which are testing restaurant-meal delivery on a small scale.