Food delivery used to be pretty limited — to certain businesses and cuisines (the quintessential Chinese takeout, the pizza delivery guy), certain geographies, and certain kinds of access (remember placing orders over a fuzzy phone call?).
No longer. With food delivery apps and websites, you can order basically anything you want to eat with a single click. Delivery now involves putting in special requests, geo-tracking your meal’s location, leaving (or not leaving) digital tips. It’s raised the expectations of speedy convenience and ever-lower prices. And it’s turned delivery into an investor-backed, winner-take-all, third-party app ecosystem dominated by just a few powerful giants — DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub — all at war with one another.
And just when we thought the food delivery wars couldn’t get any more heated, the past year happened. With everyone staying home and ordering in, UberEats bought Postmates for $2.65 billion, DoorDash went public with one of the biggest IPOs of the year (after acquiring Caviar) — and somehow the $11 billion industry still lost bonkers amounts of money in an unhinged race for market dominance that’s incited the ire of local governments, business owners, and workers.
So Eater is teaming up with Recode for a special new season of Land of the Giants, the podcast exploring how the biggest tech companies are changing our world. The food delivery business has dramatically altered consumer behavior, created a new job market, and disrupted small business ownership. It’s also given birth to ghost kitchens, and possibly changed our relationship with food. On Land of the Giants, we’re digging into it all: how the industry works, the (gobs and gobs of) money involved, the workers behind it, and what the future holds.
Listen to the trailer and stay tuned for the first episode, dropping June 22, for an eye-opening look at the billion-dollar industry that is food delivery: