Food-delivery wars heat up 2 July 2020
JOSé AVILLEZ, a Portuguese chef, has picked up two Michelin stars for his inventive takes on traditional dishes such as a pudding that daringly combines chocolate ganache with cuttlefish ink. On June 29th he experimented again: his Lisbon-based restaurant, Bairro do Avillez, started serving gourmands at home via Uber Eats.
It joins the likes of London’s Hakkasan and Claro in Brooklyn, which before covid-19 would never have dreamed of relying on a service associated with burgers and pizza. In May Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s boss, said the recruitment of such upmarket restaurants would expand the industry.
The veteran is Just Eat Takeaway.com, an Anglo-Dutch firm that in June bulked up by buying Grubhub, an American one, for $7.3bn. Both offer online access to restaurants that for the most part already have delivery drivers (though each is also investing in its own fleet). The trio of later arrivals on the scene—Uber Eats and two American rivals, Postmates and DoorDash—rely instead on armies of gig-economy couriers.
Uber seems bent on dominating the industry. On June 29th it reportedly offered $2.6bn to buy Postmates, which ranks fourth in America by revenue. The approach might relaunch plans for an initial public offering (IPO), which Postmates shelved last year after lukewarm interest from investors. At the time,…