Grubhub Launches $5 Supplemental On-Demand Delivery
PeykBot, Stack AV and spiky delivery demand
There are slow new days and then there are days like today, when we wish we had another six sections we could fill. Feast your eyes on Grubhub’s latest feature launch, plus some exciting automation developments from Stack and Peyk. But then be sure to keep reading the bottom links for big news from the likes of Uber Eats, Instacart and UPS as well!
Grubhub’s $5 On-Demand Delivery Challenges DoorDash
Peyk’s Robots Roll into U.K. and Gulf States
Chart Time | Delivery’s Super Spiky Demand
Stack: AV Trucking’s Triumphant Return
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3PD | Grubhub Launches $5 Supplemental On-Demand Delivery
Grubhub is rolling out a new on-demand delivery feature, allowing merchants that normally self-deliver their own meals to offload deliveries to Grubhub’s drivers for $5 per order. The program is initially launching across Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, D.C., Seattle, Chicago and Denver. This expands upon a “supplemental delivery” program that Grubhub rolled out in 2021, which allowed restaurateurs to set a boundary where they handled nearby orders in-house, while shunting further away orders to Grubhub. This new feature instead operates on an ad-hoc basis, letting restaurateurs turn on the feature when their existing in-house staff is overburdened.
The Big Picture: While the new feature further complicates the Grubhub tablet, it’s a smart play as merchants still struggle to keep enough staff on hand to satisfy all demand. It also catches Grubhub up with DoorDash, which launched a “flexible fulfillment” option two years ago, albeit at a higher price point. Uber Eats does not appear to yet offer a flexible / on-demand option as part of its Uber Direct suite.
AUTOMATION | PeykBot Leans on Modularity & Market Differentiation
There’s a new robotic delivery option in town, but this one’s doing things a bit differently than the competition. PeykBot recently launched in the U.K., and is now expanding across the Gulf: Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Iraq and soon Saudi Arabia. It represents a bit of a pivot for Peyk, which formerly ran a peer-to-peer delivery service in Britain; the company is hoping its in-house delivery experience means it understands merchant needs better than the competition.
The Big Picture: Focusing on the Gulf keeps Peyk out of the crosshairs of most other PDD players, which have mostly focused on the United States. While the Arabian Peninsula isn’t exactly known for its labor rights, the extreme summertime heat does make it a compelling market for robotics: better the robot get sunstroke when it hits 126° than a human. If Peyk can make things work in that region, it has some interesting other innovations it can spread to additional markets, including a modular design that allows the company’s machines to handle a wider variety of items.
CHART TIME | Delivery Demand Sure Is Spiky
One of the trickiest things about the delivery industry is forecasting demand. You need enough staff to handle the peaks, but not so many that you’re bleeding cash when demand is low. The above chart from DoorDash gives a good example of why so many have turned to third party delivery to handle the irregularities of delivery demand. As the weeks marched on, the amount of demand an unnamed merchant experienced on a given Friday swings wildly.
LOGISTICS | Pittsburgh Keeps on Truckin’
They’re baaaack — AV superstars Bryan Salesky, Pete Rander and Brett Browning, that is — with the launch of Stack AV. The team previously ran Argo AI, the self-driving delivery contender that Ford and VW shut down last year (Salesky is AV royalty, having previously directed hardware development for Waymo; Rander also had a stint at Uber ATG.) The company looks to be hammering home safety as its key differentiator, as the term is splashed around its site, and Salesky is quoted as saying “we are confident we will revolutionize the trucking and freight industries by driving improvements in efficiency and safety and alleviating supply chain constraints for our customers, helping them reach their goals and advance their missions.”
The Big Picture: Maybe AV logistics isn’t yet throwing in the towel. While the industry has had a tough few months (TuSimple continues to bleed cash, as this morning’s quarterly update reminds us; California legislators look to restrict autonomous trucking; Cruise and Waymo keep making a scene in SF…) there are some bright spots, including middle-mile player Gatik’s continued expansion. Not only is Stack’s launch a vindication of Pittsburgh as the epicenter of automation, it shows that players like Softbank haven’t tired of betting big: the Japanese technology giant has reportedly invested $1 billion into the startup.
A Few Good Links
Uber Eats expands in-stadium ordering partnership with launch at SoFi Stadium. FAA OKs longer delivery radius for drones, in win for UPS and uAvionix. Subway unveils new loyalty program. Celebrity gamers launch new energy drink exclusively on Gopuff. Flexport CEO steps down after one year. Catching up with ChowNow’s Chris Webb. Seattle rolls out curb management API. KFC flavored rum? Cheetos flavored cake? Instacart rolls out new tools for grocers, shares results of Good Food for All partnership. Favor reveals best restaurants in Texas. Domino’s sets Q3 earnings for 10/12.
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