Third-party delivery service Waitr announced today it has entered into an agreement to buy Delray Beach, Florida-based company Delivery Dudes for $23 million. The stock-and-cash deal is expected to close before the end of next week.
Delivery Dudes’ digital ordering properties and phone number will remain operational. The company said the acquisition would help it to improve service for customers, which is available around the South Florida area.
What the deal brings for Waitr is a little less clear. Waitr, which operates in small- to medium-sized U.S. cities, is one of the only third-party delivery services that has so far achieved profitability. However, it holds just 1 percent of the market share for third-party delivery in the U.S., according to recent data from Second Measure. By comparison, DoorDash holds 56 percent, Uber Eats holds 20 percent, and Grubhub has 17 percent.
Delivery Dude’s service radius is unlikely to change those numbers much, since the company only operates in a small region within the U.S.
Potentially more advantageous for Waitr is its move in recent months to add more service types to its business. In some markets, Waitr now delivers alcoholic beverages directly from restaurants. Even more recently, the company struck a deal with a payment processing company called Flow Payments to create “a compliant marketplace, delivery, and payment solution” for cannabis dispensaries.
Other third-party delivery services have also diversified their business models over the last year, with both DoorDash and Uber Eats offering grocery and DoorDash running its own “ghost convenience stores.” We’ve yet to see any of the major players peddling cannabis to customers doorsteps, though.
Whether Waitr will be successful at this remains unclear. The service operates largely in the South and Southeastern U.S., where cannabis and/or cannabis delivery is illegal in most states. There is currently no timeline for Waitr’s service in this particular vertical.
As far as its acquisition of Delivery Dudes goes, Waitr will be able to expand into new markets through it. Again, it would be a relatively small expansion, given that Delivery Dudes only serves part of Florida. But these may also be new areas in which Waitr can try out its diversified services, potentially building more profitability for the company in the future.