GrubHub is reportedly buying up restaurant web domain names. According to NewFoodEconomy.org, “GrubHub has registered more than 23,000 web domains. Its subsidiary, Seamless, has registered thousands.”
The report quoted a restaurant owner who said she “believes GrubHub purchased her restaurant’s web domain to prevent her from building her own online presence. She also believes the company may have had a special interest in owning her name because she processes a high volume of orders.”
GrubHub denied that it engaged in what it called “cybersquatting.” It also said that “as a service to our restaurants, we have created micro-sites for them as another source of orders and to increase their online brand presence. Additionally, we have registered domains on their behalf, consistent with our restaurant contracts. We no longer provide that service and it has always been our practice to transfer the domain to the restaurant as soon as they request it.”
Earlier this year, GrubHub confirmed plans to continue investing money in the company in an effort to stand out from the crowded food delivery market. Upbeat comments came a couple of weeks after shares tanked as much as 8 percent when Key Banc Capital Markets raised concerns about GrubHub’s ability to keep up with the competition from the likes of UberEats and DoorDash. At the time, analysts at the Wall Street firm contended that “diner retention, initial diner spend and peak diner spend all appear to be deteriorating” at GrubHub.