- Grubhub on Wednesday unveiled Grubhub Direct, a platform that independent restaurants can use to create customizable ordering websites, manage customer relationships and access diner data including names, emails and order history, according to a press release.
- Additionally, the product suite consists of an ordering system where operators can receive, confirm and cancel orders through the Grubhub platform; a management portal in which restaurants can adjust menus and hours and review financial and other operational data; and loyalty and promotional tools and care support.
- The biggest impact of this new product will be the opportunity for independents to have access to customer data. Over the past few years, restaurants have balked at third-party delivery partnerships because aggregators traditionally possess sole access of valuable restaurant data in these deals.
Grubhub Direct could help the third-party aggregator attract more independents, especially since mom-and-pops often don't have the financial means to create their own websites and ordering systems.
"We're hoping that we'll be able to give these independent restaurants the same exact type of tools that enterprise brands have been using for decades," Theresa Dold, VP of agency services & products for restaurants at Grubhub, said. "Those enterprise brands are the ones with those bigger marketing budgets. We wanted to come up with a product that we could scale to the restaurants that needed it the most."
The three most important aspects of this system are that it is highly customizable, restaurants can get valuable customer data and create customer profiles to better understand an individual's ordering behavior, Dold said. With this data, independents can creatively market to each customer, she said.
"It's truly in our DNA as a company to think about how we can ... build technology to help restaurants reach customers and drive more orders, and Grubhub Direct is really in the spirit of that," Dold said.
The tools will be rolled out over the coming months, Dold said. The company had conversations with hundreds of independent restaurants to gauge initial feedback and the responses have been overwhelmingly positive, she said.
This product differs from Grubhub's Direct Ordering Toolkit, which launched in December and allows restaurants to add "Order Now" buttons on their websites. That product directs customers back to Grubhub and those customers are still Grubhub customers, Dold said. In contrast, Grubhub Direct allows customers to own their customer data, she said.
Grubhub Direct charges a monthly hosting fee for the website of $49 and a one-time setup fee of $99, Dold said. These fees will be waived for restaurants through April 2022. Restaurants will not be charged for marketing commission fees, she said.
If a restaurant elects to have Grubhub deliver orders, they will be charged a competitive delivery fee, which means the company won't charge restaurants more than other competitors in the space with a goal of just covering the cost to complete a delivery, Dold said. Restaurants will pay standard credit card processing fees, according to the press release.
Grubhub's new platform adds to a growing trend among third-party aggregators to give independents a better way to own the guest experience. DoorDash began offering turnkey websites for restaurant partners last spring. Uber Eats launched a similar product in which restaurants can create customizable websites, as well as a management tool and customer engagement and insight tools, last summer.