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Grubhub Direct will allow restaurants to build their own website for direct ordering with custom images, fonts, color schemes, etc.

Grubhub launches commission-free direct ordering platform for restaurants

Grubhub Direct will help restaurants launch their own ordering websites, loyalty program features, and give operators access to customer data

Grubhub announced Wednesday the launch of Grubhub Direct: a commission-free direct ordering platform for operators that is designed to encourage restaurants to become more independent, particularly in the technology, delivery, and marketing spaces.

The platform will let operators design and set up direct ordering through their own website (either with in-house delivery drivers or by using Grubhub’s drivers), set up loyalty/rewards programs, and access consumer data. Grubhub is also offering order management services and product support from their team.

“I think most people think of us as a marketplace, but it’s always been in Grubhub’s DNA to build technology that helps restaurants reach diners,” Theresa Dold, vice president of agency services and products for Grubhub told Nation’s Restaurant News. “[…] This is a platform for restaurants to be able to own their relationship with their customers and grow businesses on their own terms […] the same type of digital ordering experience that bigger chains with bigger technology budgets have been able to do for quite some time.”

Grubhub Direct has been in the works long before 2020 but was accelerated by the changing needs of restaurants during the pandemic. In large part, much of the criticism around third-party delivery services — exorbitant commission fees, lack of access to customer data and outsourcing all operator technology and marketing needs to third-party marketplaces — has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Much like DoorDash’s new tiered commission services that were recently released and allow customers to choose to pay between 15-30% commission fees based on the services and access they need, Grubhub Direct addresses some of these industry criticisms.

“We've heard restaurants loud and clear on diner data,” Dold said. “Restaurants want to be able to understand who their customers are to be able to make educated business decisions based on that information. [what makes this unique] is the customer relationship management tool and the high levels of customization a restaurant can do with their website.”

For example, with Grubhub’s new services, restaurants can:

  • Choose the fonts, color scheme, and images on their website
  • Access names, email addresses, and order history of customers
  • Receive and manage orders through Grubhub
  • Implement loyalty tools like running targeted marketing tools for specific types of customers and offering rewards for customers that spend a specific amount at their restaurant
  • Gain access to user analytics and ROI-driven promotions

While Grubhub is not charging commission or marketing fees, the company will be charging a “competitive rate” for delivery fulfillment and a flat monthly fee of $49 for the software, as well as a one-time setup fee of $99.

Grubhub is waiving setup and monthly hosting fees for Grubhub Direct through April 2022 and has clarified that operator access to diner data, loyalty programs and promotions through Grubhub Direct is free. But it does not seem like Grubhub will begin offering customer data through their platform directly anytime soon:

“Our marketplace is an acquisition engine, and we are marketing on behalf of restaurants,” Dold said. “We put a lot of a lot of energy and effort into that offering.”  

Contact Joanna at joanna.fantozzi@informa.com

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozz

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