Jan 9, 2020 Gruhub may sell itself because of the mafia-style delivery wars Read More News, delivered hot (28 minutes after the ETA)... Grubhub shares spiked on word the food-deliverer is considering selling itself (+ fries, sauce on side). If Grubhub gets acquired like the WSJ reported it might, it'll probably be at a higher price than where the stock was trading yesterday — that's why shares jumped 13%.
2004: Grubhub is founded in Chicago as a menu-posting site — then it merged with delivery rival Seamless in 2013.
2014: Grubhub IPOs with a $4.5B valuation, ultimately reaching $13B just over a year go.
2019: Shares plunged over 40% in October on delivery of disappointing earnings -- it's now back to a $5B valuation (barely better than its IPO value).
You're becoming "more promiscuous"... That's what Grubhub's CEO thinks about us diners. Grubhubers used to be loyal, one-app customers. Now they're flirting with the competition, and it's an (expensive) marketing battle of "$5-off-next-order" promo codes to win them back. We noticed that delivery apps are divided by territory, mafia-style:
DoorDash (37% of the US market): Dominates the West, with most of the market share in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Dallas.
Grubhub (30%): Runs the East Coast, from Philadelphia to New York to Boston.
Uber Eats (20%): Took over the Atlanta-to-Miami corridor.
Postmates (10%) is LA-approved (it's pretty much only got LA).The Takeaway:If you can't beat 'em... Consolidate. The Delivery Wars are so vicious that even Amazon dropped its restaurant delivery service last year. With un-loyal customers and aggressive price competition, mergers are inevitable. Doordash already bought Caviar, and Grubhub might have to sell itself or merge — that's cheaper than splurging on marketing to beat Uber Eats in Miami.
Oct 30, 2019 GrubHub plummets 43% because we're all disloyal food orderers Read More Your chicken parm is a million minutes away... GrubHub shares plummeted 43% to their lowest level in 2.5 years. The restaurant food delivery pioneer is sandwiched between 2 numbers from last quarter:
Revenues rose a healthy 30%.
But profits plummeted 96%. 96%. Let that sink in and sit in your stomach — Here's why:
“Promiscuous” customers... That's what the CEO just called us disloyal, price-focused GrubHub users. When we crave some pad thai, we open DoorDash...then Caviar...Uber Eats...Postmates. Comparison shopping forces delivery apps to slash prices to snag our late-night dinner $$$. Those "$2 off" coupon codes are crushing GrubHub's profits.The Takeaway:GrubHub should focus on brand — not price... Delivery is a commodity — it doesn't matter where it get it from, it's the same (just like socks). But people do irrational things for a brand (like splurging $200 on a Patagonia pullover, because, Patagonia). If GrubHub can build loyalty for its brand with banh mi festivals or a stance on social food issues, customers may ignore lower-priced rivals and become monogamous. Aug 5, 2019 Shake Shack jumps to its highest point in a year (and pulls a delivery 180) Read More ShackBurgers are studying abroad... Shake Shack shares (say it five times fast) were already up 60% this year. They just rose higher as the chain spreads its caloric gospel worldwide — it's raising revenue expectations in Shanghai and Hong Kong, just opened in Mexico, and has new shops ready for the Philippines and Singapore. But we couldn't ignore the other earnings report highlight.
Shake Shack always hated delivery... That policy has led to brutal date-destroying lines (the Madison Square Park original literally has a live cam). For years, Shake Shack insisted your 'Shroom Burger and fries be eaten on-site. Here's what the CEO even said last year:
Burgers were "not intended to be eaten half an hour after they were cooked."
And delivery didn't "necessarily fit really well" with the brand.
But wait — Update: Shake Shack just announced in its earnings that it's partnering up with GrubHub for delivery at 150 locations over the next 9 months.The Takeaway:We know, we know... We just chatted with you yesterday about the pinnacle of the food delivery wars (food delivery startups consolidating). But this Shake Shack update was the perfect example of another phase: exclusivity. Taco Bell's now with GrubHub. McDonald's committed to Uber Eats and DoorDash. The Shack tested delivery with Postmates, but ultimately landed with GrubHub. Exclusivity is the other key delivery battle you can't ignore. Jul 17, 2019 Domino's earnings reveal cracks in its delivery dominance Read More Emphasis on the "no's"... Shares of Michigan-based Domino's (mozzarella is stretchier in the Midwest) fell 9% on word that sales growth slowed to just 3% for restaurants in the US (it was even worse internationally). Domino's tech-savviness helped it get pizza to people faster and shot the stock up over 3,300% in just 10 years. But now new technology is attacking it.
"Aggressive activity from 3rd-party delivery aggregators"... The Domino's CEO gave DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and GrubHub the Voldemort treatment — He dropped "3rd-party aggregators" 19 times in the earnings call with analysts yesterday. Instead of even mentioning the Big Four food delivery apps, he bemoaned the promotions they're all giving away to entice orders.
The Big Four have democratized access to delivery from McDonald's to Chipotle to Sweetgreen to Shake Shack to a bodega.
Domino's is trying to be more like the Silicon Valley darlings — it just added "track my pizza" with GPS.
The Takeaway:Domino's isn't a pizza company — it's a delivery company... And the delivery competition is on its A-game. In the past, we were typically limited to pizza or Chinese when it came to staying in and ordering delivery. Now, the Big Four delivery apps have deconstructed that, and Domino's faces delivery competition from any place with a stove and plastic to-go containers. Jun 12, 2019 Amazon shuts down "Amazon Restaurants" — Grubhub celebrates with 8% jump Read More Apparently Amazon fails at some things... The company's restaurant delivery service, uncreatively-named Amazon Restaurants, will end on June 24th — The 1-hour meal delivery for Prime members is over. Now "Restaurants" gets to join the rarely-discussed club of Amazon un-successes:
Amazon Fire: A smartphone. 2014-2015. RIP.
Destinations: An attempt to get into the travel bookings game. Shut down the year it launched.
Dash Buttons: $5 gadgets you press to auto-order more things, like Tide. Barking at Alexa turned out to be easier.
And now, Amazon Restaurants: It was tiny — Just 20 cities and 2% of the overall market.
90% of the food delivery market... is devoured by 4 companies: Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates. Word that Amazon canceled its delivery plans popped Grubhub shares 8% Tuesday (shares of the others are either private or complicated by Uber's ride-share majority business). Amazon's not completely out, though — Last month it led a $575M investment in UK-based deliverer Deliveroo.The Takeaway:Amazon clearly didn’t promote Restaurants enough... And we found a key example that highlights that: Fast food partnerships. Uber Eats delivers for McDonald's, DoorDash has Wendy's, and Grubhub handles Taco Bell. Amazon didn't invest in driving growth to its own service, so it'll invest in startups to do that instead.