Amazon’s attempt at online restaurant delivery never gained traction outside of Seattle.

By Mike Pomranz
June 11, 2019
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Amazon will deliver you pretty much anything — but one thing they reportedly won’t be delivering anymore, at least for the time being, is restaurant food. Amazon will be ending its Amazon Restaurants service later this month, according to the site GeekWire.

Launched in Seattle in 2015, Amazon Restaurants functioned similarly (at least from a consumer standpoint) to every other online restaurant delivery app out there: Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc, etc, etc. And though at one point, Amazon apparently was leading the pack in its hometown of Seattle, in the end, that “etc, etc, etc” part was probably Amazon’s biggest issue: too much competition in a space that requires a lot of commitment in individual markets.

“As of June 24th, we will discontinue the Amazon Restaurants business in the US,” GeekWire quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying. “Many of the small number of employees affected by this decision have already found new roles at Amazon, and others will be provided personalized support to find a new role within, or outside of, the company.”

But giving up on restaurant delivery seems like a pretty big concession from a company that usually appears insistent on delivering everything. And as GeekWire points out, Amazon was still expanding the service to new cities as early as this year. So is this really the end or just the calm before another storm? After the Whole Foods buyout, speculation turned to what Amazon’s next big acquisition could be, and the purchase of a more established restaurant delivery brand was often mentioned. Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats are the top three delivery businesses in America. Since Uber Eats is part of Uber, that option would seem to be off the table. DoorDash is a private company. But Grubhub has seen its stock price jump 6 percent as of this writing — perhaps implying that Wall Street believes a purchase could be on the table.

Regardless, in the short term, some bad news for anyone who has been a devoted Amazon Restaurants user: You may have to download a new app. Who knew the future would be such a pain?!

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