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An UberEATS order.
An UberEATS order.

Amazon, Uber, and a whole host of startups are hungry for their share of the food delivery market. But GrubHub has been delivering meals long before these new players arrived at the table.

In the past, the threat from heavily-funded startups seemed to loom largest. But now, GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney says two larger companies have taken their place.

amazon prime now Restaurant selection - Skillet“Uber and Amazon are the new boogiemen in the market,” he said on GrubHub’s first quarter earnings call. “I think last year there was more concern around venture-backed startups that ended up not being quite as competitive as people were worried they would be and now we’re looking at these companies.”

San Francisco’s Uber and Seattle-based Amazon have slowly been building out their on-demand food services.

Uber initially rolled out UberEATS, its GrubHub competitor, in October of last year. At the time, the transportation network offered pre-made meals from a curated lunch menu on weekdays. In March, Uber launched a stand-alone app and expanded the service to include more on-demand items from about 80 restaurants each week.

Amazon, meanwhile, has been expanding its Prime Now restaurant delivery service to new cities at a breakneck pace. The e-commerce giant now boasts an average wait time of 39 minutes — a tough window for competitors to beat.

GrubhubBut despite these so-called “boogiemen” in the restaurant delivery space, Maloney isn’t overly concerned their competitive advantage.

“If you think about it logically, the majority of the wait time for delivery is food preparation, which no third-party can impact,” he said. “And then this second largest bucket is physically delivering the food from point A to point B, and unless someone invents flying bicycles, I don’t think that is going to be dramatically reduced in the near future.”

Sure, flying bicycles might be a stretch, but at least one GrubHub competitor has an appetite for delivery drones.

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