The Lay of The Land For Food Ordering in Social Media.

The food space in the online world is saturated with would be competitors. Every month or so there is a young gun claiming to have created a better meal online ordering site (I was no exception!). However, as these start-ups learn, there are two food giants already occupying this wanted space. You may have heard of them: GrubHub and Seamless. Though their websites have tons of restaurants to order from, which makes them appealing, they do not just rely on that. Each has a strong social media presence which constantly engages and nourishes relationships with their users.

 Seamless:

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   Was the first company to take food ordering to the web. It was started in 1999 by two lawyers who were tired of working late and having to take time to order food. In 2011, they bought back their stake from Aramak and with new leadership; they took their game to another level. Currently Seamless has amassed over 2 million users with over 120,000 restaurants in 40 cities around the states, including London.  With so many users, Seamless chose Twitter and Facebook as their tools for engaging their users on social media.

There Facebook page boasts over 200,000 likes, with over 20,000 “talking about”. They do about 1-3 posts a day every week, including weekends! This is important to note because most companies take the weekend off. Each post has an image and a strong call to action, and they get a lot of engagement from their fans through likes and comments. They also run contests and promotions for their fans. Their Twitter page has over 36,000 followers. There they post regularly and use it more for customer service and for sharing articles that are related to the restaurant industry. Unlike their Facebook page, their engagement on Twitter is less than stellar; getting very few replies and even fewer re-tweets.

For some reason, Seamless has inexplicably not dedicated too much time to Pinterest. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, the power that Pinterest holds for companies dealing with food, this oversight doesn’t make sense. I will have to chalk it up to them being too busy!

GrunHub:

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 If Seamless is the corporate big brother, GrubHub is the cool and quirky little brother. Found in 2004, GrubHub has compiled an impressive 1 million dedicated users to their site. Being the chief competitor to Seamless, Grubhub continues to take a big bite (pun intended) out of their profits. Like, Seamless, GrubHub’s choice for their social media is Twitter and Facebook.

There Facebook page has over 160,000 likes to date with 12,000 “talking about”. They post at a consistent paste with about 1-2 posts per day. However, unlike Seamless whose image posts are mostly standard food images, GrubHub incorporates more meme’s and customized images that are constant with their fun persona. They have pictorial images and quizzes that they use to engage their fans. They also have a custom tab called “GrubHub’r of the week” in which they post pictures of users to build brand loyalty and awareness. Their Twitter page has over 39,000 followers and a slightly higher engagement rate than Seamless. Like their competitor, they use Twitter for customer service and conversational topics for discussion daily.

Again, for reasons beyond my comprehensions, GrubHub does not even have a Pinterest account. With their custom designed images and meme’s they could create a nice following on Pinterest that would drive traffic back to the site.

So as you see, the giant players in the food world have dedicated time and resources to remain active on social media platforms. Neither site is perfect, but with dedicated users each site has amassed a nice following. Maybe in the future there will be a site that challenges them, but it will have to do so through social media. Any thoughts?

4 thoughts on “The Lay of The Land For Food Ordering in Social Media.

  1. I’ll be honest, I have never heard of Seamless or Grubhub. Seamless doesn’t service San Antonio, but Grubhub does. It seems like a nice business model and in the area I live near there is tons and tons of opportunity for this sort of business, however when I typed in the zip code only 1 restaurant came up. How do you think either could gain more presence using SM?

    1. Hey Mayra, yea they don’t service every area, just restaurants willing to sign up. I would have to say that Seamless and Grubhub should get more of a presence on Pinterest. Other than that they do a fine job.

  2. Great post! I had not heard of either of these sites, but now I will definitely try them. It sounds like food ordering sites have not yet found a way to engage hungry people through social media. Do they have reviews of different restaurants on their site? Maybe Instagram or Pinterest might be good social channels for the food ordering business. With the popularity of hashtags like #foodporn and #yummy on Instagram (people love taking pics of their food) maybe they could even create their own hashtags!

    1. Instagram would be a good resource for them to use, but the reason I didn’t mention that is because with Instagram it is hard to convert users from the page back to the website. Most people view Instagram on their phones so to send traffic to a mobile page is less effective. But I do agree that #foodporn is an extremely popular hashtag and the right image would get a lot of engagement.

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