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Competing for Your Appetite: A Look at Grubhub and Its Food Delivery Competitors

With the fast-paced world we live in, many people lack the time to prepare meals at home. This situation prompted the birth of the food delivery service industry.

Grubhub is one of the pioneers in this business. It is an American online and mobile food ordering and delivery marketplace that connects diners with local restaurants.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Grubhub’s history, evolution, and competitors.

Founding and Early Years of Grubhub

Grubhub was founded in 2004 by two web developers, Matt Maloney and Mike Evans. The idea started when Matt tried to order food online and realized how frustrating the process was.

The founders built a website where customers could order food online and connected them with local restaurants.

Matt and Mike began testing their website with partners in Chicago in 2004.

The company commissioned its first order that same year. Over the following years, they have expanded their reach by initiating partnerships with restaurants in other cities such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

In 2011, Grubhub merged with its rival,

Seamless, becoming the largest food delivery company in the United States. Evolution of Grubhub’s Business Model and Growth

From the beginning, Grubhub’s primary aim was to simplify the food delivery process and make it more convenient.Nowadays, they have pivoted to add more services to their offering.

For one thing, they have maintained their website and app, allowing customers to browse local restaurants and order food online. Since then, they have expanded to offer restaurant partners with an online presence and tools for marketing, ordering, payment processing, as well as offering online promotional services.

In 2014, Grubhub went public with its initial public offering worth $34 million and was trading under the ticker symbol “GRUB” on New York Stock Exchange. The following years saw Grubhub’s growth, and it became one of the largest food delivery platforms in the United States.

In 2020, Just Eat Takeaway acquired the company for $7.3 billion. Overview of Grubhub’s Competitors

Grubhub has competitors who share the same goal and seek to outdo each other in the industry.

Below are competitors of Grubhub that we’ll discuss:


DoorDash was founded in 2013 by Tony Xu, Stanley Tang, Andy Fang, and Evan Moore.

DoorDash serves the United States, Canada, and Australia, with over 450,000 merchants on its platform.

The company assures its customers of fast food delivery, and it also provides various delivery options, including contactless delivery, group orders, and scheduled orders.

DoorDash expanded during the pandemic period, and it acquired Wolt, a food delivery company in Europe, to increase its market reach.

Uber Eats

Uber launched

Uber Eats, its food delivery subsidiary, in 2014.

Uber Eats operates in more than 6,000 cities worldwide, partnering with over 220,000 restaurants globally.

The expansion of

Uber Eats has seen the company introduce additional business lines such as grocery delivery and, most recently, drone delivery.


Grubhub has come a long way, from its founding to becoming a widely recognized food delivery platform across the United States. Its primary aim has remained unchanged, which is to simplify the food delivery process for customers.

The competition in the food delivery industry keeps growing, and as such, Grubhub must continue to adapt and innovate to maintain its position. In the highly competitive world of food delivery services, Grubhub has built its reputation over the years.

However, with the growing industry, there are numerous competitors that Grubhub faces. In this article extension, we will take a closer look at some of the other players in the food delivery industry that Grubhub competes with.


Postmates started as an on-demand delivery service for various goods before pivoting to food delivery. The company was founded in 2011 by Bastian Lehmann, Sean Plaice, and Sam Street.

Postmates operates in over 4,200 cities across the United States, with over 600,000 merchants listed. In 2020, Uber acquired

Postmates for $2.65 billion, which has helped the service integrate with

Uber Eats’ platform.

Postmates stands out for fast delivery times and offers a unique feature called “

Postmates Party,” which lets customers order food from a local restaurant and join others who have done the same to receive discounts.


ChowNow was founded in 2011 by Christopher Webb and Eric Jaffe. What defines

ChowNow as different from its competitors is its business approach.

Rather than generating its revenue through transaction fees,

ChowNow implements a subscription-based revenue model, which allows the restaurant owners to save fees per transaction. The platform provides various tools for restaurants to build a takeout ordering system and an online presence.

ChowNow partners with over 17,000 restaurants across the United States and has completed over $4 billion in orders.


Seamless was initially a standalone food delivery service before merging with Grubhub in 2013. With a strong presence on the East Coast,

Seamless is popular for its reliable and fast delivery services.

The platform partners with over 12,000 restaurants in 600 cities to provide users with food delivery on-demand.

Seamless also implements a review system where customers can recommend restaurants to others based on their experience.


Caviar was founded in 2012 by Jason Wang and Andy Zhang, and its mission was to elevate the food delivery service industry.

Caviar provided food delivery services to over 20 cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco, among others.

In 2019,

DoorDash acquired

Caviar for $410 million, and the service was integrated into the

DoorDash platform.

DoorDash’s acquisition of

Caviar allowed the company to expand its market coverage and access

Caviar’s partnership with high-end restaurants.

In conclusion, the food delivery industry is fast-growing, with many companies seeking to maximize revenue by offering unique services, including fast delivery times, subscription-based models, and more. Grubhub faces intense competition from various market players like


Uber Eats,



Seamless, and


However, Grubhub’s determination to stand out in the industry by enhancing its services, including expanding its restaurant partners, and streamlining processes should help it remain competitive in the market. The food delivery industry is becoming increasingly competitive as more players aim to capture a market share, challenging the dominance of Grubhub.

Below are some additional competitors who are also venturing into the food delivery industry: was founded in 2004 by Jed Kleckner and has its headquarters in New York. The company started as a neighborhood delivery service, catering to the needs of local residents. initially focused on delivering items such as alcohol, groceries, and laundry among others before venturing into food delivery. Unlike Grubhub, which outsources deliveries to independent contractors, hires its own employees to handle deliveries.

The platform currently operates in over 1,800 cities in the United States, and they offer a wide selection of food options, including fast food, fine dining, and grocery delivery.


Like Grubhub,

Waitr operates on a commission-based model, where a portion of the customer’s order goes to the company as a service fee. The company was founded in 2013 by Chris Meaux in Louisiana and listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2018.

However, after going public,

Waitr has faced challenges, including declining stocks and a CEO resignation.

Waitr’s strong presence in the southern part of the United States gave it an advantage over its competitors.

The company also owns Bite Squad, which is a food delivery service operating in over 100 cities across the U.S.


Instacart is best known for grocery delivery services. Still, the company also provides meal delivery services, partnering with various restaurants such as California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, and Blaze Pizza, among others.

The company handles the delivery of orders from local restaurants to customers’ doorsteps and has a large network of drivers. The platform is convenient as customers can also order groceries and household items alongside meal delivery in a single order.

Instacart currently operates in over 5,500 cities across the United States and Canada.

Walmart Grocery

Walmart Grocery is the leading grocery delivery service in the United States, delivering groceries, household items, and health and wellness products to customers’ doorsteps. The platform is a solution for those who prefer to order groceries online and pick them up in store.

Walmart Grocery also offers same-day delivery options for a fee. Customers can also enjoy other benefits, including free delivery and discounts with the Walmart+ membership.


Walmart Grocery doesn’t offer meal delivery, it is an important player in the food delivery industry. In conclusion, the food delivery industry is a fast-growing sector with new players emerging every day.

Grubhub faces tough competition from various competitors who are offering unique and convenient services like the examples given above. With the competition getting more intense, Grubhub must continue to innovate, expand its offerings, and collaborate with restaurant partners to maintain its position in the industry.

In summary, the food delivery industry is a highly competitive business, and Grubhub faces various competitors that offer different services. The article introduced various players in the food delivery industry, including


Uber Eats,






Instacart, and

Walmart Grocery.

Competitors in the industry offer a wide range of services, such as grocery delivery, meal delivery, and subscription-based revenue models, among others. Grubhub must continue to innovate, expand its offerings, and collaborate with restaurant partners to stay competitive in the industry.

From the article, readers can take away the importance of competition and the need for companies in the food delivery industry to adapt to changing market trends.

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