Uber Eats is testing a service where you use their app to order but dine in the restaurant.

If you are a regular reader of this site, and if you aren't you should be, you will be aware of the various food delivery options and variations available.

There is the standard third-party food delivery option. You use an app from DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub etc. to order, and your food is delivered to your door or outside your house.

Then there is the "click-to-collect" model, where again you order your meal from an app, but this time you go to the restaurant to collect it. What we older folks (and by using the term "older folks" we have proven that we are) used to call takeout.

Now apparently, Uber Eats is testing an in-restaurant dining option. You order your food in the usual way on their app, and then go to the restaurant where you have the option to collect your food, or to eat in the restaurant. The idea is to save some time by ordering and paying ahead of time. Uber Eats is testing out this service is a small number of US cities.

Here, at Virtual Restaurant Consulting we had an idea too. What if a customer didn't use an app, but instead went to a restaurant, ordered, and then dined in the restaurant? Nah. That would never catch on.

New York Post Exposes Questionable Grubhub Practice

According to the New York Post, Grubhub has created thousands of websites that masquerade as the sites of restaurants.

Since 2010, Grubhub, or its subsidiaries, have registered or purchased more than 34,000 domains that are similar to restaurants’ own web addresses. In some cases, Grubhub creates a version of an existing restaurant site by changing a dot-com to a dot-net.

According to the Post, many of these “similar” sites use the restaurants’ logos — even as they direct customers to its Grubhub and Seamless sites.

While the duplicate websites typically have the same menu as the restaurants do, the prices can be higher than the prices customers would have paid if they had ordered from these restaurants directly, the data shows.

All of this was done without the original restaurant’s knowledge permission, even though Grubhub says their contacts with the restaurants permit this.

Grubhub said in a statement that it only created domain names for restaurants “as a service” to them — a practice it has since stopped. “It has always been our practice to transfer the domain to the restaurant as soon as they request it,” the company said.

Some restaurant owners dispute that they were able to obtain their “similar” domains back from Grubhub, but the company claims it is no longer continuing these website practices.

According to the latest statistics, DoorDash has overtaken Grubhub as the leader in online food delivery in the US.

DoorDash overtook Grubhub in US monthly sales in May, according to research firm Second Measure. DoorDash also surpassed Grubhub in market share as measured among the online food delivery companies that Second Measure tracks using anonymized credit transaction data, though the absolute value of those sales has grown for both companies.

Grubhub, which operates only in the US, is very much still growing. For the first quarter of 2019, Grubhub reported $1.5 billion in gross food sales (the total value of food, tips, taxes, and delivery fees on orders placed through its platform), up 21% from the same period a year earlier. The company reported 19.3 million active diners, defined as the number of unique accounts from which a Grubhub order had been placed in the last 12 months, up 28% from the first quarter of 2018.

The top two food delivery services may be neck and neck in U.S. market share, but their strongholds are in different regions. Grubhub is the most popular service in many Northeastern metro areas, including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. DoorDash rakes in more than half the sales in the two biggest Texas metros, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. But neither is DoorDash’s biggest region in terms of dollars. That distinction goes to the San Francisco Bay area, where DoorDash is headquartered.

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