On Tuesday, Amazon made a big announcement for food lovers everywhere, especially food-lovers in the city of Seattle.They announced that there were adding a restaurant delivery option on their app – Prime Now.
The new delivery service is currently available in only select zip codes in Seattle and will expand to other neighborhoods in the future and eventually into other markets where Prime Now operates. The news confirms earlier reports which indicated Amazon was staffing up a new restaurants division to compete with services like GrubHub with hires in both Seattle and New York.
Prime Now members in Seattle will now have an option of viewing menus from participating restaurants and place orders in the app itself. Similar to their product-tracking option, customers will also be able to track their food in real-time from when its being prepped at the restaurant to the driver being dispatched with the food.
All this comes at no additional charges or delivery fees while also having the guarantee of being delivered within an hour or less. Yes, Amazon is going all out to ensure that its customers are happy and prime.
This is however, quite different from the way Prime Now functions currently. Customers on Prime Now can avail free two-hour deliveries but a $7.99 fee for one-hour deliveries. In fact, the company notes that the food delivery service’s lack of fees in general, as well as the fact that it’s not marking up the prices for restaurant menu items, will be a competitive advantage.
The company also states the advantage for its restaurant partners will be the ability to tap into Amazon’s “best” customers – that is, those who pay $99 per year for Amazon Prime who also happen to maintain payment information on Amazon Wallet.
Currently the participating restaurant list includes Cactus, Wild Ginger, Skillet, Marination Station, Re:public, Café Yumm, Ten Mercer, Mamnoon but the list does go on.
“Amazon Local did a lot of great work with restaurants, and this kind of came out of that – learning and growing from there, and seeing a great opportunity to partner with Prime Now,” explains Gus Lopez, a 17-year Amazon vet, and GM for Amazon Restaurants, on how the food delivery service got its start.
“We learned from working with local restaurants, and one of the big things that’s needed – and that we feel like we can do well – is a delivery service.”