Amazon, the giant internet retailer that aims to deliver just about anything, is now adding meals from local restaurants. It joins the ranks of GrubHub, Seamless, and Postmates (just to name a few) in servicing Chicagoans who prefer to stay in to pig out.
Starting this week Amazon Prime members can use a mobile app to order food from around 80 participating restaurants. For a limited time, Amazon is waiving its delivery fee. That’s probably a good idea according to Bob Goldin with Technomic, a food consulting firm.
“Offering free delivery, at least initially, will get them a lot of attention. There are just a host of companies offering the identical service,” Goldin said.
Goldin says the food delivery market has been growing at a steady seven to eight percent a year since 2014. Restaurant delivery is just the most recent step in Amazon’s push into the food industry. The company also gives its users the option of getting groceries delivered to their front steps. Goldin says adding restaurants is a logical move for Amazon because consumers spend “roughly half of their food dollars on away-from home foods.”
Goldin says Amazon’s existing infrastructure and loyal customer base are its biggest strengths, however ultimately Amazon may find it difficult to differentiate itself from other food-delivery competitors.
Alissa Zhu is a WBEZ news intern. Follow her @AlissaZhu.