While many businesses have suffered due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, some industries have seen extraordinary growth. With legislation limiting or preventing the ability of restaurants to host guests, the demand for take-out and delivery options has risen dramatically. The food-delivery industry experienced record levels of growth throughout 2020. The top four companies accumulated around $5.5 billion dollars in revenue in the seven months following the beginning of the first lockdowns. This dwarfed the $2.5 billion dollars of revenue from one year prior over the same period.
The food-delivery industry has also seen large shifts in the ownership of its largest names. Uber, the owner of Uber Eats, purchased its competitor, Postmates, for $2.65 billion in the middle of last year. This indicates Uber's strong desire to increase its stake in the food industry amidst poor performance from its primary ride-sharing division. Grubhub, another one of the largest companies in the delivery space, also was announced to be sold for $7.3 billion dollars to Just Eat Takeaway.com in June of last year. Just Eat Takeway.com was a combination of a UK and a Dutch company that came into being early into 2020. These shifting dynamics are sure to change the competitive landscape, both in the United States and Europe.
With the announcement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the future of the food-delivery industry is sure to be tied directly into the ability to adapt alongside the evolving restaurant industry. As of the beginning of December of last year, approximately 17% of all U.S. restaurants were closed due to the pandemic. Additionally, 2.5 million jobs were lost and the restaurant industry underperformed by $240 billion dollars. As market dynamics shift with the slow transition back to in-person dining, food-delivery companies will need to continue to build and maintain relationships with the restaurants and customers they have supported throughout the pandemic to sustain their growth.