GrubHub's plan to take out Uber, Google and everyone else

GrubHub's growth recipe

When it comes to food, GrubHub knows how to deliver. The online and mobile food-ordering company, which went public last year, serves up an average of 235,000 orders each day and has more than 5.6 million active diners on its site.

Headed by CEO and company co-founder Matt Maloney, GrubHub has seen exponential growth, with revenue increasing 51 percent year-over-year, from $58.6 million to $88.2 million in the first quarter.

"We have been able to innovate very, very aggressively," Maloney told CNBC. "So getting out in the public markets and really showing the marketplace all of our numbers has been able to allow us to drive forward. We see what we want to do, and we are creating the biggest marketplace for takeout in the whole country, and we have accelerated our growth since going public."

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Maloney, who attended the iCONIC conference in Chicago on Tuesday, said that he regretted not being more aggressive in the early stages of the company's history.

"We were founded in 2004, and I didn't go into New York until, I want say, it was August of 2008. And I gave up two or three good years in the greatest delivery city in the world. What I was in my head doing was trying to really figure out what the right model was. ... I really wanted to achieve scale somewhere besides New York before I proved the business in New York. But, that was stupid, because there were other companies doing business in New York and got ahead of us early."

With the launch of OrderHub, the company proves once again that it is a category-defining leader in the online food-ordering (OFO) sector.

"We are reducing the barriers for restaurant entrepreneurs to start their business and to actually expand their business," said Maloney.

This new technology changes how restaurants take orders from GrubHub diners. Instead of receiving orders via fax and confirming them by phone, OrderHub streamlines the process and sends orders straight to a tablet app.

"We've seen this phenomenon in multiple cities across the country and especially in New York City, where you have a kitchen that is entirely dedicated to delivery food only. There is no dining room, and they produce outstanding food, and it's only for delivery, and they just exist as an entire business on the GrubHub platform."

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The company has continually sought growth and expansion. In 2011, GrubHub acquired Dotmenu, the parent company of Campusfood and AllMenus, and FanGo, which was designed to allow stadium spectators to order concessions from their seats.

Seamless, which had acquired MenuPages in 2011, was purchased in 2013. And in 2014, GrubHub bought DiningIn and Restaurants on the Run, collectively, in an $80 million deal that added 3,000 restaurants in almost a dozen cities to GrubHub's already extensive collection.

Uber made a play for restaurant delivery services this year with the creation of UberEats. The service is currently available in three U.S. cities—New York, Los Angeles and Chicago—in addition to deliveries in Toronto and Barcelona.

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The menu is limited but reasonably priced. The UberEats service in Los Angeles is the only one to offer lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus, while the others cater to just lunchtime customers between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Doorstep Delivery, which started as a Florida company, has expanded to 16 cities in six states, while Foodler caters to 12 cities in 11 states. In comparison, GrubHub accommodates 35,000 restaurants in 900 U.S. cities and London. GrubHub's closest competitor, Yelp's Eat24, has a catalog of 20,000 restaurants in 1,500 cities.

Google recently entered the race—well, sort of. The tech company launched a new service in early May that gives you the option to "place an order" in the search results on your mobile device. Google prompts you to select one of six food-delivery services, including GrubHub, Eat24, Seamless,, and BeyondMenu.