How Apps Rule the Old-Age Takeout Idea

At the beginning of this century, when Seamless was launched, mostly as a tool for offices to place large orders from restaurants and caterers, it did not register as a threat. Neither Just Eat in Denmark (2001) nor Grubhub (2004) or many others, all of which start to swallow each other in a series of combinations and claims to read like a tech version of the announcement of the birth of the Bible: “And Just Eat acquired Hungryhouse from Delivery Hero, and Seamless merged with Grubhub, and Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures invested in Just Eat, which gave birth to SkipTheDishes.

Like humans, the family of companies is growing and diverse. Here is a partial list of major competitors and also running companies in this sphere: Talabat, Snapfinger, Hungryhouse, Menulog, Eat24Hours,, EatStreet, Eat Club, Munchery, Postmates, OrderAhead, DoorDash, ChowNow , Caviar, Foodpanda, Menu Group, SkipTheDishes, SpoonRocket, Deliveroo, Gopuff, Hello Curry, Foodora, Dunzo, Swiggy, Uber Eats, Wolt, TinyOwl, InnerChef, Maple, Tapingo, Rappi, Spring, Chowbus, and Glovo. As they grow and merge, these companies collect more detailed, more accurate customer data, information gathered into a tool that can anticipate and respond to customer needs more efficiently than the most veteran restaurateur. .

The advent of the iPhone in 2007, followed by the 2008 recession and an entire generation of young engineers mobilized to create apps in a fast-paced land to become the next Facebook, an indefensible attack on restaurants. A host with a reservation book and a landline lacks the equipment to compete with the technology of placing an order that is suddenly in the pocket of every diner, feeding data to Silicon Valley app companies. For several years, these companies knew more about restaurant customers — what we wanted, when we wanted, how much we were willing to pay — than a small business could.

In 2016 many companies made news by stopping their unimpeded growth. Before closing, Bento admitted that there was more money to be made in catering than on-demand shipping, SpoonRocket sold its technology to Brazilian food chain iFood, and Square tried to sell Caviar in Uber or Grubhub.

When word came out that third-party delivery was not profitable, despite numerous announced sales, the conversation shifted. The problem isn’t that the emperor has no clothes, that these companies — worth billions, with more investment money poured in every day — are harassing restaurants and investors. This is so of course the food delivery is not ours. Not to work in person. If restaurant meals can get to our door via drones, robots, and self -driving cars, though, that’s when the sector will go from red to black. “If we don’t get the [autonomous car] software thing nailed, we won’t last long, ”said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick USA Today in 2016.

All of these businesses want to be known as technology companies, as opposed to taxi or restaurant businesses. That’s true. They did not deliver food. Many of them farm physical schlepping with other agencies, such as Relay, Homer Logistics (acquired by Waitr), and Habitat Logistics. Bicycle and car couriers are not really employees but “independent contractors,” giving the company maximum exemptions from employment and employment laws regarding scheduling, overtime, sick pay, and wages.

Assured by legal fiction that their product is something other than delivery, and that couriers are not employees, these companies go around the details of what service they actually provide, reminding you that you’ve got food. brought to you. because of them, in a hard-to-count way. “Grubhub helps you find and order food wherever you are.” “Uber Eats is the quick way to deliver the food you want.” “Whatever you want, we get. Order shipping for yourself or with friends and see in real time as your Postmate brings you all the things you love. This is an impressive work of copywriting, meaning they deliver food without expressing it and therefore avoiding the responsibility of identifying themselves as delivery companies.

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