Amazon to End US Restaurant Delivery Service
Amazon.com will end its U.S. food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants, at the end of June, reports Business Insider. Amazon Restaurants launched in Seattle in 2015, and expanded to over 20 markets globally, yet failed to become a top player in the American food delivery space. The service was available only to Amazon Prime members and faced steep competition from other restaurant delivery companies such as GrubHub, PostMates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. The London branch of Amazon Restaurants was shuttered in 2018.
Total Retail's Take: It's uncharacteristic of Amazon to back down from a challenge, but the fierce competition in the food delivery space has forced Amazon to withdraw. Limiting its potential customer base for the food delivery service to only Prime members may have also been detrimental to the program's growth. The top food delivery services in the U.S. have a wider audience to draw from as well as solid logistics in place for on-demand local delivery, of which Amazon isn't as experienced nor adept. However, this may not be the end of food delivery delivery for Amazon. The brand recently lead an investment round in Britain-based delivery company Deliveroo.
Table stakes for successful home delivery continue to rise, and delivery services and restaurants alike "have to look at their integration" to remain relevant, says Gavin Bisdee, vice president of global marketing at Zynstra. "One of the key challenges faced is how to improve the food ordering system that often consists of separate devices needing to be used across online orders from dominant brands such as GrubHub, UberEats and DoorDash with manual entry into the point of sale. If they can virtualize all these systems onto one simple device, the entire process for online orders, with home delivery or takeout, will become far more efficient and ensures greater staff productivity."