Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is getting into the restaurant delivery business to compete with companies like GrubHub Inc. as Americans favor eateries over supermarkets.
The Seattle-based company is offering free one-hour delivery on orders from dozens of outlets to members of the $99-a-year Amazon Prime service in some areas of its hometown, it said Tuesday.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Amazon started one-hour delivery of beer, wine and spirits to Seattle customers. Spending at U.S. restaurants and bars overtook grocery stores for the first time in March, with take-out sales appealing to eateries that can boost business during peak periods without adding seats.
“We obviously want to grow this,” Amazon Restaurants General Manager Gus Lopez said in an interview.
Chicago-based GrubHub, Inc. connected 30,000 local restaurants with customers in 800 U.S. cities, as of the end of 2014. The company estimates Americans spent $70 billion on take-out meals in 2013.