Partnerships / Acquisitions

Square Inc. Expands Food Ordering Service With OrderAhead Acquisition

Square Inc. has announced that it has purchased OrderAhead’s dining pickup website and app that enables customers to place takeout food orders without picking up the phone or waiting on line.

While the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Bloomberg Technology reports that OrderAhead was valued at $30 million in December 2013. Square won’t be taking on any of OrderAhead’s employees.

This deal expands Square’s own food delivery service, Caviar, which it acquired in 2014. This week, Square introduced Caviar pickup, which allows diners to order ahead at their favorite restaurants. According to a press release, Caviar, which partners directly with over 3,000 restaurants across the U.S., is launching in San Francisco, the East Bay, Los Angeles and Portland, and will soon expand to customers in all Caviar markets across the country.

“OrderAhead’s expertise in improving the restaurant ordering process for busy diners and businesses is a great fit for Caviar and our commitment to helping restaurants grow,” said Gokul Rajaram, Caviar lead at Square. “This addition will accelerate Caviar pickup and give more food ordering options to diners across the country.”

While Square has tried its hand at food pickup in the past — an app launched in 2014 shut down after just one year — the company is confident it’s prepared for this latest venture.

“We aren’t playing the same game as other food delivery companies,” Rajaram said in an interview. Caviar is “going beyond food delivery to have a broader suite of offerings. Pickup is one.”

The competition is growing, with Amazon.com Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. entering the market. And according to Researcher Crone Consulting LLC, in five years half of all sales at quick-services chains will be generated by online order-ahead customers.

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