Most travelers have experienced arriving dead tired at a hotel room after a long day of travel, sightseeing, or meetings and wanting easy comfort food delivered without having to drive around looking for it. The experience of relying on a front desk recommendation or consulting available printed menus often leads to limited food selections or a disappointing meal.
Two software programmers in Chicago named Matt Maloney and Mike Evans saw the problem while working late on a late night business project. They were inspired to launch an online solution in 2004 called GrubHub.com. The site allows customers from anywhere to key in their location and obtain menu information on dozens of local restaurants organized by food types. Users click on boxes to select their meal choices, and pay either online by credit card or indicate they will pay cash to the delivery person. Then they sit back to await their meal to arrive. Delivery is usually free with a proper tip expected. Customers can rate restaurants and keep a record of their orders to check whether or not they want to use the same restaurant next time.
Currently GrubHub offers delivery service in 13 cities that include: New York, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, Washington, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. There are 13,000 restaurants currently participating, ranging from less than 200 in the new entry of Portland to over 6,000 in New York City. GrubHub management claims that more cities are soon to be added and dozens of new restaurants are joining daily. Glowing articles have recently appeared in several major publications praising the service. Travelers who want to investigate whether GrubHub is appetizing to them can visit www.grubhub.com.