GrubHub launches Perks tab for food discounts

The delivery app is combining two features into a perks program.

GrubHub's most frugal consumers will have to look no further than the food delivery app's new "Perks" tab. The company announced today that it is combining two features -- coupons and discounts on meals and restaurant-specific loyalty programs -- all under one tab. In short, diners will no longer have to keep track of point cards and other restaurant discounts. Instead, GrubHub will do the coupon clipping for them.

"Restaurants have always used free food as a perk for their VIP diners -- to keep them happy and coming back. We have now extended this practice to Grubhub diners by building loyalty tools so our restaurant partners can promote their restaurants more aggressively on our marketplace and reward their best digital diners as well," said Matt Maloney, Grubhub founder and CEO.

As usage of food delivery apps like Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash become more common than ever, it's not a surprise that GrubHub is vying to stay ahead of the pack. Offering perks like free food has emerged as a surefire way to get customers coming back for more. The company last summer acquired LevelUp, a company that helps restaurants develop their own loyalty programs and branded apps. Since the acquisition, GrubHub through LevelUp has powered the loyalty programs of restaurants like Shake Shack, Argo Tea and Just Salad.

Unfortunately for many restaurants, offering freebies through delivery apps has only hurt their bottom line. The New York Times reported that Indian restaurant owners are losing profits due to providing discounts on food delivery platforms like Zomato and Uber Eats. Diners who participate in loyalty programs like Zomato Gold have come to expect free food, and will take their business elsewhere if not offered a discount. Meanwhile, restaurant owners must pay food delivery apps a steep commission in order to participate.

Starting today, diners can access discounts under the Perks tab in the most up-to-date versions of both the GrubHub and Seamless apps. In order to celebrate the launch of the program, participating restaurants like Taco Bell, Auntie Annes, Red Lobster and Smoothie King will also offer free food with any orders.