Things kick off with deals from the likes of Taco Bell, Red Lobster, and Auntie Anne's.

By Mike Pomranz
September 04, 2019
Grubhub

After years of feeling like the Wild West, the restaurant delivery industry today is more focused around a handful of companies. Smaller players like Caviar were bought out. Amazon decided to get out of the way. And now, the big four are DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and, a bit further behind, Postmates (though Postmates also delivers more than just restaurant food). But just because the industry has coalesced doesn't mean things have become less competitive. In fact, the real fight may just be starting. And Grubhub has announced its latest feature to help win over customers: Grubhub Perks.

Grubhub describes Perks as "a treasure trove of offers only available on Grubhub along with new ways to earn and redeem restaurant loyalty rewards." More specifically, Perks — which can be found in a tab at the bottom of the Grubhub (and Seamless, which they own) app — is broken down into two sections: "Redeem" and "Earn." The Redeem section "lists all rewards earned or offered for immediate use" — stuff like free food and other deals. Meanwhile, the Earn section can be used by restaurants for loyalty programs. Yes, if you've been carrying around a "buy ten burritos, get one free" card, your favorite Mexican joint can now run that promotion through Grubhub as well.

Furthermore, Grubhub specifically states that it "will offer a seamless integration of restaurant loyalty programs so diners can earn and burn points digitally as well as on the restaurants' white label app or physically in-store." This language is notable because Grubhub came under fire recently for allegedly attempting to route restaurant customers through Grubhub's own phone system and websites.

"Restaurants have always used free food as a perk for their VIP diners — to keep them happy and coming back," Matt Maloney, Grubhub founder and CEO, said in the announcement. "We have now extended this practice to Grubhub diners by building loyalty tools so our restaurant partners can promote their restaurants more aggressively on our marketplace and reward their best digital diners as well."

Of course, a perks program is only as good as the deals it offers, so Grubhub is kicking off Perks will some high profile promotions from some of its biggest partners. Starting today, customers can look out for "a range of offers only available on Grubhub from participating restaurant locations" that includes things like a free Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell, a free original or cinnamon sugar pretzel from Auntie Anne's, a free dozen Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster, and a free 20-ounce smoothie from Smoothie King. Grubhub says also look out for deals from "Shake Shack, Just Salad, honeygrow, Pokeworks, and Argo Tea, among others."

In total, Grubhub boasts that Perks will feature "hundreds of millions of dollars in free food." That's something your "buy ten burritos, get one free" card definitely can't offer.

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