Amazon is pushing further into restaurant orders.
The online shopping giant said it will begin accepting takeout orders from within its flagship app in certain locations starting next month.
The feature is made possible through an ongoing partnership with a payments startup called Clover, which will let diners pay for food through their existing Amazon accounts.
Amazon Restaurants was rolled out last month as a direct competitor to Grubhub, the dominant leader in the takeout and delivery space. It integrated a laundry list of eateries into its system right off the bat through a deal with ordering startup Olo.
Now, Amazon is reiterating that it's serious about owning the space and doing so while bolstering its in-house payment service.
Amazon is hoping the deal will help flesh out its burgeoning Amazon Pay service, a PayPal competitor it launched in 2013 to allow people to use their Amazon accounts for in-store transactions and other purchases outside its site. The company claimed earlier this year that 33 million of its customers have now used the service, a 10 million increase from the previous year.
Not every menu item will be available from each restaurant listed; Amazon asks the participating businesses to provide only their top-selling items, perhaps to cut down on complexity. The ordering option will only be available from select eateries in New York, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Seattle area.
Amazon also tested the feature earlier this summer with certain T.G.I. Fridays locations.
Amazon's app, which has become an all-purpose testing ground for the company's various mobile retail experiments, already offers several options for dining takeout and delivery through its integration with Amazon's digital voice assistant Alexa.
Various partnerships allow customers to read Alexa instructions to services like Grubhub, Dominos, and the company's own new hub, Amazon Restaurants, provided its a repeat order already stored in that particular account.
Grubhub's shares were trading down nearly 2 percent as of Monday afternoon.
By Patrick Kulp
October 23, 2017
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