Facebook really wants to make sure you never leave its site, and to that end, it’s now offering a service that lets you order food through the app or website itself. This extends to both takeout and delivery.
But rather than competing with similar online services such as GrubHub, it’s merely partnering with some of them, including Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Olo, Zuppler, and Slice.
That means that when you click on the new “Order Food” tab under Explore, you’ll find listings for local eateries. Click on “Start Order” for your preferred restaurant, and you’ll then visit your preferred existing service — such as Delivery.com — and order through there.
Nor is Facebook just partnering with delivery and takeout aggregators. If you’re craving something from a nationally recognized chain such as Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Five Guys, Jack in the Box, Papa John’s, Panera, El Pollo Loco, TGI Friday’s, Denny’s, or Wingstop, you’ll order your food through their own portals.
In essence, Facebook’s main role is cutting out the step of actively visiting another app or website apart from Facebook to make a food order.
It’s still slightly inconvenient because you end up visiting the external site anyway, but at least Facebook isn’t just trying to make the concept its own and put its smaller competitors out of business, right?
Facebook already rolled out the service to a limited number of customers earlier this year, but today marks the first time it’s been widely available in the US.
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“We’ve been testing this since last year, and after responding to feedback and adding more partners, we’re rolling out everywhere in the US on iOS, Android and desktop,” said Alex Himel, Facebook’s VP of local, in the official announcement. “People already go to Facebook to browse restaurants and decide where to eat or where to order food, so we’re making that easier.”
Facebook makes no money off of the service, according to TechCrunch. It’s apparently an act of sheer goodwill (and keeping you within the app and seeing Facebook’s own ads). Facebook charges the partners no fees, and it doesn’t receive any profits on orders made through “Order Food.”