Seamless not doing it for you anymore? Grubhub letting you down? I may have good news for you — if you live in Chicago, that is. Continuing to crowd the already oversaturated food delivery industry is Amazon, which has expanded its Prime Now restaurant delivery service to the Windy City. On Thursday, the Seattle-based company announced this latest extension, hot on the heels of a similar UberEats headline that brought its own meal deliveries to ten cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Austin.
Amazon’s initial Chicago launch includes around 80 of the hottest restaurants the city has to offer, and more eateries should be added on a daily basis. Prime Now was first introduced in Seattle, but has since expanded to five other cities, including Austin, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Portland, and now Chicago. According to Amazon Restaurants general manager Gus Lopez, the average delivery time across markets thus far has been 39 minutes, which represents a serious improvement over some Seamless estimates that place wait times at 90 minutes or more.
To qualify for restaurant delivery from the online retailer, you must be an Amazon Prime subscriber, which currently costs $99 a year. There are no delivery fees — not yet, at least — and this is true for both newcomer Chicago and the other cities that have been blessed with Amazon’s on-demand service.
“We want people to try the service, but we may down the road introduce a delivery fee,” Lopez said. No word yet on when “down the road” might be.
In any case, as the delivery industry continues to grow, it seems inevitable that companies will soon be at each other’s throats for market dominance. And with Amazon’s already well-established brand name, it may have a leg up on the competition (despite its recent entrance into the space).
“They’re already in the delivery service — delivering retail products or people from one destination to another,” Darren Tristano, president of food industry consultancy Technomic, the Chicago Tribune. “The ability to take that distribution process and apply it to other businesses creates really strong opportunities.”
For a full list of the restaurants currently available on Amazon, take a look at Eater’s list, and get to ordering.
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