If admitting you have a problem is the first step, Matt Maloney is ahead of the game. The Grubhub CEO's letter to shareholders in late-October was a sort of end cap to a wild year for the third-party delivery company. In it, he took a wide-angle look at the delivery industry and its struggles. The space is becoming increasingly competitive, and diners are "becoming more promiscuous," he wrote. As it turns out, it's hard to make a profit in delivery.
The letter rippled throughout the industry, popping up in earnings calls and changing the narrative away from Grubhub's troubles with its restaurant partners. (Oh, and there were troubles for the delivery giant this year, including a considerable dip in profitability, and fights with restaurants around the country over fees and other business practices.)
But in his letter, Maloney also outlined how Grubhub stands out from its competitors. With its acquisition of LevelUp, the company now has advanced loyalty programs, POS integration and white label ordering capabilities. Then there's Grubhub's play at virtual restaurants, one of the hottest buzzwords in the delivery space. It’s aggressively using the company's data to help restaurants open virtual restaurant brands based on customer demand.
2020 started with some big news from the delivery giant, too. Grubhub was rumored to be mulling a sale. While “unequivocally” denying the claim, Grubhub actually stated it may be looking to acquire “given that our profitability is secure.”
In the largely VC funded delivery space, Grubhub is looking to grow while operating the old-fashioned way.
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