How does Grubhub work? Here’s what you need to know

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  • Grubhub is a food delivery service that serves approximately 32 million customers and 320,000 restaurants.
  • The delivery service also partners with contracted “gig economy” drivers who receive a small fee and optional tip for delivering food from the restaurant to the customer.
  • Here’s how Grubhub works for the restaurant, driver and customer.

Grubhub is a popular food delivery service that has been around since 2004. According to the company, its service handles more than 745,000 orders daily from more than 320,000 partner restaurants and it serves approximately 32 million active customers.

But Grubhub has a lot of moving parts — it doesn’t just work with customers, but also partners with restaurants and runs fleets of local drivers to make deliveries.

How Grubhub works for customers

Customers are at the heart of Grubhub’s business model; they use a mobile application (iOS Where android) or the Grubhub website to place orders and make payments.

After using the app or website to create an account and enter payment information, customers can browse or search for restaurants in the area, then place an order by selecting items and adding them to a cart. They then proceed to checkout, select a payment method, and track the status of the order until it is delivered. Grubhub usually charges delivery fees on top of what the restaurant charges.

the grubhub app on ios

The Grubhub app makes it easy for customers to order food and have it delivered or prepared for pickup.

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How Grubhub Works for Restaurants

Of course, Grubhub depends on a network of restaurants. In turn, Grubhub expands the reach of restaurants by allowing businesses to offer delivery even if the restaurant has traditionally only offered dine-in service. The partnership also means restaurants can use Grubhub as a delivery service rather than hiring and managing their own fleet of delivery people.

Restaurants can get started with Grubhub by applying on the Grubhub for Restaurants Grubhub website page. Once accepted, Grubhub works with restaurants to implement their menu, pricing, and other details into the app and website.

The Grubhub website in Chrome

To partner with Grubhub, restaurants fill out a form on the Grubhub website.

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When a customer places an order, it appears on a dashboard in the restaurant’s Grubhub app. The restaurant confirms the order and then prepares the food for delivery. When the driver arrives, the food is handed over and the restaurant part of the process is complete.

Grubhub takes a portion of the restaurant’s revenue to enable this workflow: marketing and fulfillment fees plus a percentage of the cost of the order. Since Grubhub orders cost more at the restaurant, many restaurants have a different set of prices for online delivery than if you dine in.

How Grubhub Works for Drivers

Driving for Grubhub is part of the modern “gig economy”, meaning you can choose to work as a Grubhub driver as your main source of income or to supplement another job. Drivers can get started by applying on the Grubhub for Drivers Grubhub website page. To be qualified as a driver, you must at minimum have a car (or in some places a bicycle is acceptable), a driver’s license and


car insurance

(or ID if you use a bike) and a smartphone.

The Grubhub Drivers app in iOS

After starting the application process on the Grubhub website, you will complete it in the Grubhub mobile app for drivers.

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Drivers receive training from Grubhub and the ability to set their own hours. Once at work, drivers are notified using the app when an order is available at a nearby restaurant. The driver calls for delivery and drives to the restaurant, waits for the food if needed, then delivers it to the customer following the driving directions in the app. In addition to the basic delivery charges, drivers can also receive tips which customers can add to payment details in the app.

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