Food Fight

Food Fight

Following Merger, GrubHub and Seamless Hit with Temporary Antitrust Rules

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (Photo:

Two of the city’s biggest online food delivery companies merged in May — but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is hoping to keep the online food ordering game competitive with a few new rules (well, for now).

Mr. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with GrubHub and Seamless. The agreement states that the companies will no longer be allowed to form exclusive agreements with certain vendors, a release from Mr. Schneiderman’s office states, and they must sever any existing ties within the next 45 days. Read More

Food Fight

Never Leave Your Apartment Again: Seamless and GrubHub Are Merging


After rumors swirled the past few days that food delivery companies GrubHub and Seamless were in talks to merge, the news is now official. Bloomberg reports that the companies are combining in an effort to out-deliver their competitors in the fast-growing online ordering sector.

Matt Maloney, CEO of Chicago-based GrubHub, will lead the merged entity while New York-based Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky will be its president. Financial details have not yet been released but neither company is paying to acquire the other. The company will be rebranded, although a new name hasn’t been selected. Read More

Food Fight

FoodToEat Takes on Seamless and GrubHub With Low Fees and Food Trucks

Ms. Kapur.

As if Seamless didn’t have enough to worry about with GrubHub nipping at its heels. Ever heard of online food ordering service FoodToEat? Maybe not, as the young startup has been quietly growing in beta. But FoodToEat launched in June 2011 and after a recent redesign, founder Deepti Sharma Kapur, 25, is ready to feed her public.

FoodToEat offers food from 500 restaurants, and Ms. Kapur charges vendors just $.10 per order–a huge savings compared to her competitors, who she said charge between 10 and 18 percent.

FoodToEat has also signed up 50 food trucks, thanks in part to the fact that Ms. Kapur speaks four languages. The original inspiration for the site came when she was preparing for the LSAT and pondering how many minutes of studying the long line at Treats Truck would cost her. Read More

Food Fight

Real Cheap Eats Brings the Lean Startup Approach To Eating (Really) Cheap in NYC

Cow foot soup at Kelso on Franklin via Real Cheap Eats

Startupland has been a big supporter of the techification of foodie culture: Foodspotting and Gojee being two local examples . While the newly-launched Real Cheap Eats may be light on tech, its commitment to Lean Startup principals seems like enough to qualify for the club.

From idea to launch in two weeks with zero funding are stats any techie would be proud of.  Although Betabeat might be biased because we just discovered the intriguing “cow foot soup” is being served steps from our front door.

In an interview on Food and Tech Connect, blogger James Boo explains that the idea came  out of a panel at the Food 2.0 event. Read More

Food Fight

Seamless, Fresh Out of Corporate Fetters, Buys MenuPages for $15 M. as GrubHub Comes Nipping


New York City-based online food ordering service Seamless, born SeamlessWeb during the dotcom boom in 1999, has purchased Menupages from New York magazine publisher New York Media for $15 million and the right to sell advertising against MenuPages content for a year, Betabeat has learned.

New York Media Holdings CEO Anup Bagaria, who would not disclose the price but said it was “significantly more than we bought it for,” said the reason for selling MenuPages, which “has actually grown 100 percent since we’ve purchased it” in 2008, had to do with New York Media’s reluctance to invest in growing the business beyond advertising revenues.

Mr. Bagaria says New York Media started thinking about a sale at the end of the first quarter of 2011, when an undisclosed buyer approached with an offer for MenuPages. The unsolicited offer could have come from a long list of related companies, but Betabeat’s sources think was most likely either Zagat, which was exploring the possibility of adding menus to its reviews before it was acquired by Google; or the London-based Just-Eat, which raised $48 million to expand globally around the same time.

The offer inspired New York Media to find out who else might be interested. By the time the publisher was done, a source familiar with the situation says, it had spoken to a number of companies including Google, the publicly-traded reservation service OpenTable and Just-Eat.

For Seamless, the MenuPages acquisition is the latest in a string of aggressive moves spurred by fierce competition in an increasingly-heated market. Seamless has maintained a serviceable but increasingly stale product since it was bought by corporate caterer ARAMARK in 2006. But in June, Seamless spun out from under ARAMARK, raising $50 million in outside investment. Now, after years of complacence, Seamless is going after the consumer market with renewed vigor. Seamless’s fiercest competition comes from GrubHub, a seven-year-old Chicago upstart that completed a parallel purchase last week: the acquisition of Dotmenu, owner of online ordering site CampusFood and menu library AllMenus.

MenuPages actually approached GrubHub about an acquisition earlier this year, but “we couldn’t come to an agreement on price,” GrubHub CEO and co-founder Matt Maloney said. However, one source points to the timing of GrubHub’s Dotmenu acquisition, which was likely already in the works.

The rivalry between Seamless and GrubHub started long before the bidding war over MenuPages, however. Read More