Sunday 25 February 2018

Amazon muscles in on the food takeaway business

A cyclist rides past a Verizon Wireless store in San Francisco, California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Amazon is getting into the restaurant delivery business to compete with companies like GrubHub as Americans favour eateries over supermarkets.

The Seattle-based company is offering free one-hour delivery on orders from dozens of outlets to members of the $99- a-year Amazon Prime service in some areas of its hometown. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Amazon started one-hour delivery of beer, wine and spirits to Seattle customers.

Spending at US restaurants and bars overtook grocery stores for the first time in March, with take-out sales appealing to eateries that can boost business during peak periods without adding seats. "We obviously want to grow this," Amazon Restaurants general manager Gus Lopez said in an interview.

Chicago-based GrubHub connected 30,000 local restaurants with customers in 800 US cities, as of the end of 2014. The company estimates Americans spent $70bn on takeaway meals in 2013.

Wireless giants offer mobile video service

Verizon Communications has just launched a trial version of its new mobile video service, aiming to prove that telecom players can compete with mobile ad industry titans Google and Facebook.

Verizon said its service, a mobile app dubbed "go90", will be offered initially to a select set of its own customers, with ads from well-known brands, which it declined to name, but without newly acquired ad technology from AOL, the media company it bought in June for $4.4bn.

Verizon is targeting young viewers or Millennials with about 100 to 200 hours of exclusive content from online video networks such as AwesomenessTV and Machinima, said Brian Angiolet, Verizon's senior vice president, consumer products.

The free service will drive revenue from data usage and targeted advertising.

Companies from Netflix to Dish Network already offer web-based video services through subscriptions, but the No 1 US wireless company's ad-supported, short-form video model is unusual.

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