With proprietary hardware and software that brings together all restaurant ordering channels into one system, Grubhub rolled out its Ultimate technology. The product is a digital workflow solution that takes the place of shouts as well as handwritten notes by linking the back- and front- of the house directly with diners while making a transparent view into their order status, the company said in an announcement.
Grubhub Founder and CEO Matt Maloney said in the announcement, “Diners have come to expect ordering ahead for pickup to breeze through busy rush hour crowds and grab their morning coffee or lunch, but currently they can only enjoy this convenience at large QSRs [quick-service restaurants]. Ultimate now gives restaurants of any size this ability to please diners with an easy, digital pickup experience.”
Four components comprise the Ultimate technology: heads-up customer displays to show real-time order estimates throughout all channels, a lightweight point of sale (POS) with direct integration to the Grubhub web and mobile app, a kitchen display system (KDS) and in-store self-ordering kiosks to complement the Grubhub app. Beyond ordering ahead through Grubhub, in-store ordering kiosks let restaurants move employees back to food prep lines and fulfillment areas and away from the cash register.
Estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) in real-time appear after an order is made and let diners, as well as delivery drivers, time their arrivals to prevent unnecessary waiting. The queue diners see is the same as the one that all restaurant workers see and provides automatic updates at every step of the order process. The Ultimate pilot has focused on Chicago and New York City, “where restaurants have seen pickup demand impact their bottom line,” per the company. The technology also has food hall and stadium applications.
The rollout comes after news surfaced that Grubhub was pursuing a number of strategic options, with the inclusion of a sale, to deflect the possible attention of an activist investor. Its stock price rose by increased over 17 percent on that news, and the share price of Uber saw a slight increase. Grubhub later denied such claims, after which its stock took a beating.
Earlier this month, it was also noted that DoorDash had overtaken Grubhub as the No. 1 food delivery service in the U.S, with data coming from analytics firm Second Measure. Grubhub captured 32 percent of the market, while DoorDash received 33 percent of all food delivery sales in the U.S. last year.
In September, Grubhub had announced the rollout of “Perks” for mobile users, with exclusive offers only available on the food delivery platform in addition to new ways to collect as well as redeem restaurant loyalty rewards. Perks could be found through a tab at the bottom of the screen in the apps of Seamless and Grubhub, per reports at the time.