Lyft Finally Picks Up Restaurant Delivery

The rideshare service isn't creating a platform like Uber Eats, but Lyft drivers will now have the option to get paid for grabbing your takeout.

Uber was one of the later brands to jump into the restaurant delivery game, launching Uber Eats in 2014. But it quickly became one of the big three alongside DoorDash and Grubhub. The whole venture made sense: Uber already had an army of drivers swarming cities, so why not put them to work delivering food?

But Uber isn't the only ride-hailing service out there. And now, their biggest American competitor, Lyft, has made a major push into food delivery.

A Lyft decal is seen through the window of a car
San Francisco Chronicle / Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

Yesterday, Lyft announced a new partnership with Olo, a company that can help restaurants use their own online ordering platform by partnering them behind the scenes with drivers from other services. Olo already has partnerships with DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, and now, they are working with Lyft as well, giving Lyft drivers the opportunity to handle restaurant deliveries funneled through Olo's Dispatch service.

"Direct digital orders continue to make gains in the restaurant industry as brands recognize the need to protect direct relationships with guests, and effective management of these orders is a critical component to success," Shalin Sheth, VP and GM of Dispatch for Olo, stated. "The addition of Lyft to the Dispatch network not only expands delivery coverage for our brands, but drives competitive pricing at the benefit of guests and brands alike."

Meanwhile, Justin Paris, head of Lyft Delivery, clarified that his company wasn't looking to be a direct competitor to Uber Eats with its own ordering app, but instead simply wanted to open up revenue opportunities for their drivers and themselves. "As a transportation-focused company, we aren't interested in building consumer-facing marketplaces for groceries or food," he said, "but we can add real value in delivery both for drivers and partners via Dispatch's frictionless process and the scaled national network of drivers on Lyft's platform."

Olo reportedly works with over 500 restaurants brands across more than 76,000 locations and including big names like Denny's, Five Guys, Qdoba, and Wingstop, though not all restaurants specifically take advantage of Olo's Dispatch service.

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