Could GrubHub Be Amazon’s Next Big Purchase?

Image courtesy of Mark Turnauckas

On Friday, Amazon announced that it would be acquiring Whole Foods, an upscale grocery chain with stores across the country. Once that deal is complete and the companies have settled into their new relationship, what might Amazon want to acquire next? One investment analyst suggests that maybe what the Everything Store needs next is some food delivery.

According to StreetInsider, Aaron Turner of Wedbush Securities speculates that GrubHub would be a great candidate for Amazon to acquire next.

“Amazon has already made its own foray into restaurant delivery with minimal success, the overlap between Whole Foods customers and GrubHub users [is] likely high due to similar geographic footprint and value propositions, and synergies would likely be realized with GrubHub’s operational and logistical infrastructure.”

Translation: GrubHub customers have money to spend, just like Whole Foods customers do. GrubHub and Amazon both do local delivery within a short time window. By acquiring GrubHub, it would acquire an existing nationwide network of restaurant partners, customers (with their order histories), and even a workforce of food delivery drivers in markets where GrubHub supplies drivers for restaurants that don’t hire their own.

Amazon does restaurant delivery, though it’s not surprising that you haven’t heard of it. It hasn’t been much of a hit and is only available in select markets, dispatching drivers to pick up orders from partner restaurants just like they deliver merchandise using the Prime Now app.

Amazon has been trying to build a grocery operation for some years now, and acquired its way into a supply chain and existing stores that serve upscale customers. Will it do the same for deliveries of prepared food?