Facebook has risen to become a leader not only in the world of social media, but also through the development of its own projects, ranging from virtual reality and artificial intelligence research to providing a platform for fundraising. The tech company’s latest venture is in the world of online food ordering and delivery, but rather than developing its own platform, Facebook is relying on a few key partnerships to bring the new service to its users.
Grubhub, a Chicago-based mobile food ordering business, with its own user base of nearly 10 million and a wide network of restaurant partners, is perhaps the most significant member of Facebook’s new feature. They purchased Yelp’s Eat24 platform only weeks ago, so they are no stranger to major partnerships. Grubhub has relatioships with well over 50,000 individual restaurants in roughly 1,100 cities throughout the United States and United Kingdom combined, thus providing the necessary industry connections for Facebook’s food ordering and delivery service.
Other notable partners for the project include Delivery.com, EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, Olo, and Chow Now. Furthermore, Facebook is not limiting itself to just partnering with already established mobile food ordering companies and has sought out several partnerships with restaurants themselves. Eateries confirmed to be participating include Five Guys, Panera, Jack in the Box, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, and Papa John’s, with many others sure to follow.
The process for ordering is relatively simple. Facebook already has the ability for businesses, including restaurants, to open their own social media pages for regular customers to communicate, leave reviews, and read info about new menu items. With Facebook’s new update, the pages for participating restaurants will include a clickable “start order” button. If the restaurant in questions participates with several online ordering platforms, it will prompt a menu allowing the customer to choose their preferred platform. Additionally, a new search function enables users to browse a full selection of restaurants that support the online ordering feature.
Users can complete their orders through both the desktop website and Facebook’s mobile app for smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices.
The project has been in the works since 2016 and seems largely in favor of the restaurants and users rather than Facebook, who revealed they are not taking a percentage from the cost of each order transaction. Overall, it is a well developed feature and it is interesting to see Facebook develop a project more centered around partnerships than expanding their own platform.