There’s no question; we are in the golden age of restaurant delivery. Though Grubhub and DoorDash are pitted in a battle for market share supremacy; other outfits such as Uber Eats and Postmates cannot be dismissed. When examining the data, both Grubhub and DoorDash are shown to have market share north of 30% whereas Uber Eats and Postmates each stand at a little more than 10%.

However, when considering this data, both Uber and Postmates have other main interests besides restaurant delivery. Uber is undoubtedly known for their ride-sharing services and Postmates has a delivery network that includes: restaurants, grocery and convenience stores as well as more traditional retailers.

The advent of this third-party delivery growth saw a myriad of ‘exclusive’ partnerships. The most famous of these could perhaps be the one between McDonald’s and Uber Eats established in 2017. McDonald’s announced earlier in 2019 that, although it would still be offering delivery with Uber Eats, they no longer had an exclusive partnership as they brought in DoorDash. McDonald’s has now, in the past few days, announced a partnership with Grubhub to expand delivery to 500 restaurants in the NYC metro area. All of this brings third party delivery to more than 10,000 McDonald’s locations.

What we’ve seen in the market recently are two things: the departure from exclusive contracts in order to create a larger pool of prospects and customers having to use a variety of apps in order to access different restaurants. What does this boil down to? It’s the Wild West of food delivery right now. Consumers are feigning loyalty to any one delivery provider because they want what they want, when they want it, which opens the door to new competitors.

With the adoption of new technology comes new opportunity. Year over year, studies show that a 6% increase has occurred in the amount of Americans who have used one of these services; 24% versus 18% respectively. In addition, industrywide foodservice sales have increased by 7.5% over the previous year, some of which is a direct result of the added demand from meal delivery services. For suppliers and service providers, this means an increased opportunity to offer restaurants any logistic and resource solutions they may need to meet that demand.

The restaurant industry is forever morphing into something new. There’s a tight labor market with increasing labor costs and decreased margins for profit. This presents both challenges and opportunities, giving way to new services like 3rd party restaurant delivery, which fills the public’s need for good food without having to wait in line or even leave the house.  So that then poses a new question in the cultural schema, “What’s for dinner” and “Who delivers that?”

Sources: Restaurant Dive and Second Measure.