Today in Food Commerce: Instacart Takes on DoorDash; Chipotle Expands Rewards to Canada

Today in food commerce, Instacart announces a new partner that brings the aggregator closer to competition with its restaurant delivery counterparts, and Chipotle Rewards goes live in the Great White North of Canada. Plus, Marnie Boyer, vice president of diner acquisition at Grubhub, talks about virtual brands.

Restaurants Seeking Fresh Ideas in Automation to Combat Inflation’s Bite  

When inflation runs rampant, when input costs spiral out of control, no matter the business vertical, margins suffer. And for restaurants, there is an inflationary one-two punch that’s been unavoidable. Food prices are going up, which means that it’s ever more expensive to get the meals to the table, doorstep or customer. In addition, it’s more expensive to hire and keep workers who make it all possible.

Instacart Creeps Further Into DoorDash’s Space With Juice Bar Partnership

Instacart has announced a new partnership that veers suspiciously close to the purview of its restaurant aggregator competitors. Last week, the aggregator announced a partnership with Southern California juice bar Pressed. The partnership is something of a gray area, with Pressed operating somewhere between the restaurant and grocery spaces.

Restaurant Brands Reach for International Loyalty with Rewards Rollouts

As major restaurant brands look to secure consumers’ loyalty all around the world, Chipotle is expanding its Rewards program internationally. The brand announced Tuesday (June 14) that it had launched Chipotle Rewards in Canada, promising free chips and guacamole with each member’s first purchase to drive adoption.

Grubhub: Virtual Brands Are ‘More Popular’ with Independent Operators

“More restaurants have tapped into the concept because it gives operators the opportunity to test additional, delivery-only menu concepts with little financial risk. These concepts create new revenue streams, attract untapped customers and increase restaurant exposure, all with little overhead,” Marnie Boyer, Vice President of Diner Acquisition at Grubhub, tells PYMNTS in an interview.