Grubhub CEO to Rivals: You Can’t Win

Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney wasted no time telling investors what he thought of the competition in his company’s first quarter earnings call on Thursday. With Uber and Postmates IPOs pending and DoorDash experiencing rapid growth (by some measures, bigger than Grubhub), he spent the hour forcefully promoting his company’s strategy and position in the marketplace.

“We are providing the total package. I’m extremely confident because I feel that we’re winning across the board when it comes to chain and enterprise conversations,” he said. “No one else has this combination of the marketplace growth, delivery, delivery as a service, and loyalty programs, including where we share customer data with [point of sale] integration. This is exactly what they want, and like I said, we’re the only ones offering [it].”

…Grubhub has latched onto a “buy vs. rent” narrative to explain this difference. The competition is “renting” customers to restaurants, it said, fueled by billions of dollars in venture capital investment. This comes in the form of extremely low fees paid by restaurant partners (“zero to near-zero,“ Maloney said) in return for foregoing orders from any other platform.

…Maloney also took the opportunity to directly call out two competitors, DoorDash and Postmates, for listing Taco Bell restaurants on their own platform without the restaurants’ consent. Grubhub inked an exclusive deal with Taco Bell parent Yum Brands in early 2018.


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