For now the offer includes deliveries from Seamless, Grubhub, Eat24, Delivery.com, BeyondMenu and MyPizza.com. A search for a restaurant which offers delivery through any of those 6 companies will cause a “place an order” option to appear in the Google search results, writes Catherine Shu for TechCrunch.
Food-delivery industry growing fast
The food-delivery sector has seen rapid growth in the past few years. In 2012, food-delivery startups received $25 million in venture capital funding, a figure which rose to $600 million last year, however most people still call restaurants directly when they want to order food.
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Google benefits from the deal by gaining access to data from a growing industry, while its partners receive the exposure and visibility that come with working with one of the biggest tech companies in the world. The delivery companies exist in an increasingly crowded market and are presumably hoping to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Google continues to gather data
Startups such as Seamless and Grubhub bring menus from a variety of restaurants into one place, which means that they are used by people looking for inspiration as to what to eat. The addition of an order button not only allows Google to see what cuisine and restaurants its users are most interested in, but from which kind of delivery service they are more likely to order their food. This kind of information could be incredibly useful to the company as it builds other areas of its business, such as e-commerce.
Google claims that it is currently working on adding the ability to order from a wider selection of delivery providers. Thus far it looks as though only those users based in the United States will be able to use the feature, but we could see its availability extended to other parts of the world.
The feature may not fundamentally change consumers’ ordering patterns but it does allow Google an interesting window into their behavior. The company continues to collect data on a diverse range of industries, and it will be interesting to see if it eventually puts its knowledge into practice, and in what way.