Seamless and GrubHub join forces to take on takeout
While everyone was clamoring over Yahoo’s agreement to acquire Tumblr, two other companies decided to join forces. Online food ordering sites Seamless and GrubHub announced today that they’ll be merging to create one company that, according to a release, is “well positioned to drive more orders to restaurants, deliver a better experience for hungry diners and enhance services to corporate clients.”
Both companies have been operating in the space for a quite a while. Seamless originally launched as SeamlessWeb back in 1999, while GrubHub hit the scene in 2004. Seamless serves markets in both the U.S. and the U.K., while GrubHub has focused solely on the United States, offering its service in over 500 cities. Both also provide mobile apps to make ordering a little more convenient.
The merger of Seamless and GrubHub will likely mean that online food ordering will be able to roll out more quickly to underserved markets, but it also means that there won’t be much competition in the space. OrderUp is one competing service that continues to live on, though it has been rolling out slowly since its launch in 2009 and is only available in 25 markets across the U.S.
Aside from OrderUp, it looks like the largest competitors Seamless and GrubHub will face are the online delivery services run by restaurants and fast food joints themselves.
Despite the Web’s pervasiveness in the world around us, there are still a lot of restaurants that take delivery orders by phone but have no online system to speak of. The merger of Seamless and GrubHub promises innovation in the online ordering space and the ability to get more food-delivering restaurants onto the Web.
Let’s hope they can deliver.