Groupon, purveyor of discount laser hair removal and cut-rate hang gliding lessons, is now entering the food delivery service sector. The company announced the launch of its takeout and delivery service, Groupon To Go, following the recent acquisition of Baltimore-based startup Order Up.
According to Nation's Restaurant News, Groupon To Go is now servicing Chicago, with plans to roll it out nationally soon; meanwhile, "OrderUp will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand, but the acquisition gives Groupon access to the company’s established technology, as well as the ability to scale up delivery service quickly to compete with rapidly growing players like GrubHub/Seamless, Postmates and DoorDash."
As for how Groupon plans to differentiate itself from said competitors, NRN says that "Unlike other technology-based delivery providers, Groupon combines the offer of delivery with a deal: 10 percent or more in the form of instant cash back for consumers that order through Groupon’s dashboard."
Groupon To Go drivers are employed as independent contractors, and delivery fees vary from restaurant to restaurant. In Chicago, at least, the company itself is covering the cost of the aforementioned discount, though The Verge points out "The offer isn't permanent, and it's not clear how long it'll stick around for."
Look for the service to land in Boston and Austin this fall.