If you order out, GrubHub should be 'a way of life': CEO

GrubHub CEO: Investing in product

Takeout loving urbanites helped drive GrubHub to a more than five fold profit surge in the third quarter.

But if the online food delivery company has its way, last quarter will be just the beginning of a boom in business thanks to a large, untapped market of people who still order food the traditional way, its CEO told CNBC this week.

"The domestic take-out market is $70 billion annually," GrubHub CEO and co-founder Matt Maloney said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"Once you've ordered once or twice, it's really a way of life, and our diners order consistently over years," he said, speaking about GrubHub's access to over 30,000 restaurants. "We make it free and easy to order, and people just like that."

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GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney sits for a photograph during an interview in Chicago.
Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Recently, GrubHub unveiled a new strategy that relies heavily on marketing to customers who still place food orders by calling eateries directly. In that way, the company hopes to grow the nearly 5 million foodies that currently use GrubHub to place orders.

In fact, GrubHub is turning to old-school technology to lure in new customers. That's because of about 95 percent of that $70 billion market still places its take-out order over the telephone, Maloney noted.

He expressed confidence that he could convince more users to switch to GrubHub, which saw a 51 percent jump in revenues last quarter.

"We're really investing in product," the CEO said, "and then we're really doing everything we can to communicate that over national television as a matter of fact to make sure people understand that hey, GrubHub is in your markets and we have your favorite restaurants."

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On Friday, GrubHub, which has over 30,000 restaurants in its network, forecast current quarter revenue of $68.5 million to $70.5 million, beating analysts' average estimate of $66.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Maloney credited the early adopters who have flocked to the platform for driving the bulk of that growth.

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"Even with these aggressive growth numbers, GrubHub is only going to process not even $2 billion this year. So the market is massive and there's a lot of room to grow," Maloney added.

—Reuters contributed to this report.