Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Uber Eats Gains, Grubhub Lags During Coronavirus Pandemic

By Rich Duprey - Updated Apr 9, 2020 at 5:18PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Third-party delivery app usage surges as people begin to order food from restaurants again.

As the coronavirus pandemic picked up speed in the early part of March, consumers flooded into grocery stores to stock up on food and basic goods. Sales went from virtually flat to almost 79% growth year over year as the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

While supermarket sales remain elevated from the levels seen before the crisis began, consumers who fled restaurants to cook meals at home are now returning to their favorite dining spots -- only now they're having their food delivered.

A parked food delivery bicycle.

Image source: Getty Images.

Change at a moment's notice

Data from Earnest Research, which analyzes anonymized credit and debit card purchasing data from millions of consumers, shows that for the week ending March 18, year-over-year sales for third-party delivery companies like DoorDash, Grubhub (GRUB), and Uber (UBER -4.70%) Eats rose 13.7%, a 10 percentage point decline from the week before.

However, just seven days later, after most states ordered all restaurants to open only for takeout or delivery orders, the delivery apps saw their business surge. Sales rose almost 20 percentage points higher from the week before to record a 33% year-over-year gain.

The big winner in third-party delivery was DoorDash, which saw sales for the week ending March 25 rocket 72% higher from the year-ago period (and up 32 percentage points from the week before), while Grubhub and its affiliated Seamless service saw only 7% year-over-year growth, barely above its performance the prior week.

Both Uber Eats and Postmates fared significantly better than Grubhub, posting 26% and 13% gains, respectively.

While the grocery and restaurant landscape has changed considerably over the past month, there's good reason to believe that third-party delivery services will continue to see growth. It's also clear that some services will be dashing forward while others are left behind. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

GrubHub Inc. Stock Quote
GrubHub Inc.
GRUB
Uber Technologies, Inc. Stock Quote
Uber Technologies, Inc.
UBER
$20.46 (-4.70%) $-1.01

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
317%
 
S&P 500 Returns
112%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/01/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.