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GrubHub is clearly ahead, the most popular service in nine cities, but five other brands all lead in at least one market.

Mike Pomranz
October 03, 2017

Depending on where you live, you probably have a different way of talking about ordering delivery. New Yorkers almost always opt to hit up Seamless/GrubHub whereas, in California, grabbing DoorDash or Postmates is the way to go. Though these and other brands all offer essentially the same service, restaurant food delivered, a simple survey of which companies are popular in which areas shows just how fractured the national food delivery market really is.

Second Measure, a company that analyzes credit and debit card transaction, has tried to make some sense out of which delivery companies are prevailing where. It looked at August transactions for seven major food delivery brands in the 22 most populous cities in the U.S., and the results are striking. GrubHub (which also owns and operates Seamless) had the largest overall market share, but was still only the most popular delivery service in nine of the 22 cities analyzed. Meanwhile, though DoorDash was a pretty distant second overall, the service was still the most popular in five markets, including San Jose where it had a whopping 78 percent share. Meanwhile, whereas the third and fourth largest delivery brands overall, UberEats and Postmates, both were tops in three markets each, even the smallest delivery companies Second Measure looked at – Caviar and Amazon – had their niches. Caviar was tops in the tech-loving city of San Francisco, and Amazon, unsurprisingly, was ahead in Seattle.

As Recode pointed out when posting the data, even given the seemingly cut and dry data provided, there's more to the numbers than meets the eye. Each service has its own slightly unique angle or business advantages. DoorDash likes to work with larger national chains, and UberEats has a powerful network of drivers and brand recognition behind it. Postmates delivers more than just prepared foods, and Amazon is, well, Amazon.

Unfortunately, what the Second Measure data doesn't include is which way different cities are trending. Probably the biggest takeaway from all this info is that it's extremely clear just how much this industry is still in its infancy. Though things will likely continue to shake out, for now, it's hard to tell just what the results of that shakeout will be.

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