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GrubHub mobile orders 25pc of total sales by year-end: exec

After launching its updated iPhone application in October, GrubHub saw a 330 percent increase in mobile food orders and expects that robust growth to continue.

Over the past six months alone, the company has seen a 300 percent increase in its install base. GrubHub projects that mobile orders will make up 25 percent of its total food sales by the end of this year.

“We want our mobile channel to be as feature-rich as our consumer Web site and to take full advantage of mobile-specific functionality,” said Mike Evans, Chicago-based cofounder and chief operating officer of GrubHub. “The evolving mobile technologies and the space as a whole make it a rich environment for experimenting with innovative ideas.  

“For GrubHub users, GPS functionality provides a huge convenience when they are looking for restaurants that will deliver to wherever they are,” he said. “With a mobile device, they can be hanging out at a bar or at a friend’s house and immediately discover all the restaurants on GrubHub that will deliver to them.”

Mobile strategy
GrubHub’s mobile strategy is geared towards simplifying the connection between hungry consumers on the go and restaurants.

Its focus is on Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and HTML5 mobile Web browsers, as well as the iPad and Android-based tablets. 

Mr. Evans said that consumers do not have to turn on their desktop computer when their phone is in their hand.

Also, when consumers are on their way home from work, in the passenger seat of a car or riding the train, they can place an order so the food gets there when they get home and they do not have to wait, per Mr. Evans.

With GrubHub’s new updated iPhone app, users can now save their credit card information and leave their wallet at home and not have to get off the couch to pay for their food.

Mr. Evans claims that GrubHub is definitely seeing an increase in the number of people ordering food with its mobile apps.

Incredible growth
GrubHub first launched its iPhone app in February 2009, and it has seen the number of orders placed through the app increase dramatically since then, per Mr. Evans.

Mobile orders comprised less than two percent of GrubHub’s total revenue in 2009.

With the growing popularity of its mobile apps, mobile orders comprised 10 percent of its sales by the end of 2010, roughly $7 million.

“Smartphone growth is exploding, and people are always carrying their mobile devices wherever they go,” Mr. Evans said. “Mobile development will be a huge focus for GrubHub moving forward.

“As for whether or not we predict that mobile ordering may surpass online ordering, it’s still too early to say,” he said.

Final Take
NBC Chicago