Seated Pitch

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GrubHub Market Penetration

GrubHub is an online food delivery service platform that has a massive user base of 14 million and collaborations with 80,000 restaurants. The company is doing well in many Northeastern metro areas, including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Their market penetration strategies are collaborations with local restaurants, mergers and acquisitions, offline marketing, and promotion.


  • When the company expanded to San Fransisco, they hired a location manager who went down to the local restaurants, explained about GrubHub, and built the company’s network there. Eventually, the restaurants agreed, then GrubHub started listing each restaurant's menu in their mobile application, and orders started to flood in. This method grabbed the investors’ attention and opened the funding doors for GrubHub.
  • The industrial alliance between food production units and delivery services is one of the primary factors that enabled GrubHub to grow to the current extent. The alliance cuts the costs and boosts profits for GrubHub. To penetrate a new city, GrubHub attempts to make partnerships with local fast food outlets and restaurants.
  • Collaboration with the local restaurants in a new city will reduce the chances of failures. This strategy enables GrubHub to start and consolidate the business as long as the consumers are largely unaware. Currently, GrubHub collaborated with over 80,000 restaurants and each of them pays an undisclosed percentage of revenue.

Merger and Acquisition

  • To enter the new market in a new city, GrubHub went ahead to acquire its competitors. The main reason for GrubHub acquiring competitors is the big threat of market saturation in some metropolitan cities in the US. The delivery services in these big cities are still insufficient to cope with the demand.
  • The mergers and acquisitions strategy in the saturated market enabled GrubHub to ease the business rivalries and increase its market share.
  • In 2013, GrubHub merged with its main competitor Seamless. This is a remarkable decision for GrubHub since Seamless is doing pretty well in New York and also operating in the UK too. GrubHub managed to penetrate to new cities and expand their global outreach.
  • To expand and grow globally, GrubHub also merged with AllMenus, MenuPages, Eat24, LevelUp, and Tapingo over the years.

Offline Marketing

  • Offline marketing is one of the main reasons behind GrubHub’s successful expansion to San Francisco. This offline marketing strategy targeted public audiences that bound to pass through posters and banners at transit hubs, buses, and subways.
  • GrubHub understands that offline advertising can work well for their business. Offline marketing is effective for introducing GrubHub to the prime target in new cities.


  • To attract more customers, GrubHub offers promotions that provide a range of monetary benefits. GrubHub also offer bonuses to loyal or highly rated customers, delivery agents and admin staff to grow and maintain their business in the food delivery industry.
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DoorDash Market Penetration

DoorDash is a food delivery company based in San Francisco. Since its inception in 2013, the company has experienced significant growth. The requested information on how DoorDash introduced and grew their brand in the highly populated tier 1 and 2 cities is presented below.


  • DoorDash penetrated the market in highly populated cities by connecting people with the best in their locality through technology and social media platforms. It committed to empowering local enterprises, thus creating new ways for people to live, work, and earn. The firm began by enabling door-to-door delivery that allowed people to have easier evenings, larger savings, happier times, empowered communities, and wider nets.
  • In highly populated highly-populated tier 1 and 2 cities, DoorDash started by offering excellent services characterized by speedy delivery of quality products. For instance, consumers in the New York and San Francisco areas are known for their love for convenient deliveries and takeout food. By offering the desired convenience, DoorDash was able to penetrate the market and grow.
  • In these cities, DoorDash positioned itself as a company that gives customers what they want when they want it. It carved out its spot in the saturated food delivery space by developing an effective logistics and operations system to satisfy its customers. It streamlined communications between dispatch, drivers, and diners using advanced technologies in order to win customers’ trust.


  • To fuel growth in highly-populated tier 1 and 2 cities, the digital food delivery platform currently utilizes an integrated multichannel campaign drive. The firm is trying to connect the expediency presented by digital delivery services to the pop-up activation trend that is defining experiential marketing in recent years. The trend is propelled by consumer sets such as millennials and their fondness for Instagram-friendly spaces to upload photos.
  • The ‘pop-up’ campaign drive employs media channels such as social media, digital, TV, radio, out-of-home, and experiential marketing. Pop-up spots covered 13 major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, partly because of their high population.
  • Such a creative strategy highlights the firm’s role as a digital pop-up for restaurants by allowing customers to sample a range of cuisines wherever they are. To promote the push DoorDash, waives delivery fees for first-time orders.
  • To sustain its growth strategy, DoorDash is relying significantly on its reach. Currently, the firm has a foothold in more than 4000 cities across the US and Canada. DoorDash's association with leading merchants has also spurred its growth. Most of these merchants have experienced a financial performance because of focusing more on delivery.
  • One of the merchants, Chipotle, had struggled with sales pinch for years amid numerous foods safety crises. However, after partnering with DoorDash, its weekly delivery orders increased by 667%. The fast-food chain has since developed tools and services focused on digital and mobile ordering.
  • As part of its penetration and growth strategy, DoorDash’s has partnered with Wendy’s and the Cheesecake Factory. It has also partnered with regional brands such as The Original Mels, Zio’s Italian Kitchen, and Costa Vida. Such brands have operations in the highly populated tier 1 and 2 cities. Thus, the partnership makes DoorDash more visible.
  • Its growth strategy is currently focused on partnering with more national and international brands to disrupt the market by pushing beyond the online platforms. It has started to tap into more traditional marketing and penetration strategies focused on broad reach and brand building like TV, out-of-home, and experiential. DoorDash also intends to penetrate other cities through experiential activations linked to the pop-up strategy in the future.
  • Today, DoorDash has covered all the states and cities in the US and has extended its reach to Canada. The driving power behind the company’s strategy is the empowerment of merchants to develop their enterprises by offering improved in-store efficiencies, data-driven insights, and on-demand delivery. In developing its strategy, the company conducts research and development through its team who keep track of what is happening in every market and finding a new and innovative way of serving its clients through technology.

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Seamless Market Penetration

The market penetration strategy for Seamless is to focus on growth within larger cities. The company grew its brand in these areas by targeting working clients and students, optimizing mobile technology, and tailoring their advertising to the local area.

Seamless's Introduction to Market and Early History

  • Seamless was introduced to the market in 1999.
  • It was introduced in New York City as an online food delivery system that specifically targeted corporate clients such as bankers and lawyers who worked long hours.
  • The system became available for use by the general public in 2015. The company was acquired in 2006 by Aramark and struggled against increasing competition.
  • The company operated in 13 US cities and London by 2009. Their base of 1.5 million users was evenly split between consumer and corporate accounts at the time.

Market Penetration Strategy

  • The Seamless market penetration strategy appears to have multiple elements, which are described below in greater detail. The strategy overall includes focusing on major cities, greater emphasis on the consumer market, and mobile technology updates.
  • The company received $50 million in financing in 2011 to focus on penetration into the consumer market. Company spending for this move went into advertising, acquisition of other brands such as MenuPages, and application updates.
  • The brand was operating in 27 cities in 2011. These included New York, London, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Their YouTube channel also showed operations in Washington, D.C.
  • With the acquisition of MenuPages's mobile app system and menu capabilities that year, the company planned to expand to more than 50 cities worldwide and considered mobile sales a key element of growth.
  • 15% of Seamless orders came through mobile devices in 2011. This was significantly up from 1% in 2010. Now more than 50% of Seamless orders are placed using a mobile device.
  • Their video media campaign in 2012 shows that the company hosted promotional events at universities in several large cities. The universities shown included Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, and Cal Berkeley.
  • The company was operating in more than 40 cities by 2013. A company official stated that expansion decisions were based on demographic considerations and consumer demand. The company was mainly focusing on expansion in the United States.
  • Seamless became a GrubHub brand in 2013. Its expansions after this time become somewhat difficult to determine. Most expansion-related press releases by GrubHub do not list specific brand-level market expansions.
  • Seamless was operating in many large metropolitan areas in 2015, including Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Their market expansion plans were primarily limited to larger cities. The company was a market leader that year in gross sales for online food delivery.
  • Seamless is currently operating at a consumer level in more than 600 cities. Forty of these cities have the additional capability of corporate ordering.

Brand Growth in a Highly Populated City: New York City

  • Seamless serves more than 50,000 restaurants nationwide. More than 11,000 of those restaurants are in the Greater New York City area.
  • Seamless has grown to be "New York's largest and favorite takeout app" and "an iconic New York brand." Their initial focus was on facilitating corporate ordering by bankers and lawyers.
  • Seamless was launched in New York City in 1999.
  • Their website advertised free coffee events for workers throughout Manhattan in 2009. Most of their users at this time were New York residents. The company continued these coffee events in various areas of New York City in 2011.
  • The brand had a firm hold in New York City by 2014. New York City was the country's largest market for online food ordering at the time.
  • The company added an Amazon Alexa feature in 2017 designed to cater to on-the-go New York residents. Seamless also ran ads showcasing the diversity of the city's restaurants that year.
  • The company places advertisements in New York City's taxis and subways. It also buys outdoor signage in the area and runs television commercials specifically geared toward New York City residents. The Seamless website lists New York City as a specific browsing category, separate from all other cities, on its web page.

Brand Growth in a Highly Populated City: Los Angeles

  • The company's market penetration strategy in Los Angeles appears to be targeting students and corporate workers.
  • Seamless has operated in Los Angeles since at least 2009. A video of their website at the time shows that the brand offered 25% off coupons to users who made successful referrals to others in Los Angeles.
  • Seamless appeared to target the student population of Los Angeles during its 2012 campaigns. There are two UCLA-specific videos on the company's YouTube channel.
  • A 2012 video shows that the company used flyer/mailer coupons to promote mobile orders. During the same year, the brand's video media campaign shows that the company hosted a dance marathon promotional event at the University of California Los Angeles.
  • The volume of orders in Los Angeles more than quadrupled in 2012.
  • Los Angeles is one of the 40 cities nationwide where Seamless facilitates corporate ordering. This may be due to the fact the city has the 3rd largest business district in the US.

Research Strategy

Seamless is owned by GrubHub Inc. Information about the company was sourced from the Seamless website. The research team also gathered Seamless-specific details from the GrubHub website. Due to the Seamless brand's twenty year history, it was necessary to use sources from several years ago to find information on how Seamless grew its brand from the company's introduction to the present day. There was not much historical or market penetration information available on the company website. However, there was some related information on the company's current and former YouTube channels. Videos on these channels were used to get a sense of the brand's promotion strategies and market expansions. Articles from 2009 to 2015 were also consulted to glean further details about the company's market penetration at that time.
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FOMO and JOMO are two terms that have come to describe the human experience with social media and offline social events. The term FOMO has been around since the early days of social media and JOMO seems to have come about as social media was enveloping every part of our lives. The history of both terms are detailed below. Since JOMO is a new term and only exists to counteract FOMO, it doesn't have as much of a rich history.


  • When it began:
    • The first paper mentioning the actual fear of missing out at events was written by Dan Herman, a marketing strategist, in the year 2000.
    • The Oxford Dictionary states that FOMO is an early 21st-century term.
    • Based on Urban Dictionary, the first entry that defined FOMO as a type of fear is in 2005. This post gave the example phrase "Jonny got the rep for being a fomo, but jake's a bigger one."
    • This older definition shows that the word began as something that one is rather than something that one is feeling.
    • In 2006, a definition that is more akin to the definition that is now known was posted on Urban Dictionary: "The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.
  • Who started it and where did it come from:
    • A single point of origin has not yet been found, but it is believed that it came out of the birth of Facebook in 2004. It was that year when a Harvard Business School student named Patrick McGinnis wrote an article asking why social invitations received such low response rates even though many do actually show up. He attributes this phenomenon to both FOMO and FOBO.
    • McGinnis writes: "FOMO and FOBO are irreconcilably opposing forces, the antithesis of yin and yang, and can drive a person towards a paralytic state I'll call FODA, or Fear Of Doing Anything…. Notice that as a person becomes more and more FOMO, the energy needed to maintain such an active social life is tremendous. On the other extreme, practicing aggressive FOBO will only serve to alienate your friends. Poor management of the trade-offs between the two forces leads to FODA."
  • How it became popular:
    • Since then the word got more popular. It became the "word of the day" on Urban Dictionary in April 2011.
    • When Twitter came on the scene in 2006, blogger Kathy Sierra stated that social media services are leaving some people "with a feeling of not being connected, by feeding the feat of not being in the loop."
    • In 2008, Citysearch in Australia ran an ad featuring the dangers of FOMO, depicting a 'patient' who is paralyzed with indecision.
    • By 2010, FOMO became a popular term, and by 2011, FOMO was used in marketing material.
    • In 2013, for the first time a scholarly article mentioned FOMO and defined it this way: “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent, FOMO is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.”
    • Research is increasing in the effects of FOMO. Social networking can both cause FOMO and be an effect of FOMO.


  • When it began:
  • Who started it and where did it come from:
    • The blogger Anil Dash is credited as the first one to use the term. It was used after the birth of his son, which caused him to withdraw from both online and offline activity.
    • JOMO originated online and got shared through social media.
    • The coining of JOMO shows that even though technology has become such an important part of people's lives, we are constantly evaluating the hold that it has on us.
  • How it became popular:
    • Along with terms like 'kompromat' and 'witch hunt', JOMO was one of 300 new words that were added to in early 2019.
    • As FOMO peaked when it was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 and social media started to take over people's lives, unplugging and JOMO began to get more popular.
    • JOMO is not as popular as FOMO. For the past 3 years searches for JOMO have remained steady while searches for FOMO have peaked numerous times.


From Part 01
  • "They went down to the restaurants in San Francisco and explained each of them what does Grubhub do and how does Grubhub make money. Eventually, the restaurants agreed and orders started to flood in. This grabbed the investors’ attention and they joined in."
  • "Grubhub and DoorDash control different parts of the country. The top two food delivery services may be close in U.S. market share, but their strongholds are in different regions. Grubhub is the most popular service in many Northeastern metro areas, including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia."
  • "The merger with Seamless was a remarkable decision. Since Seamless is operating in the UK too, the two companies managed to expand their global outreach."
  • "Grubhub has also kept a keen eye on its competitors, especially Seamless (now a partner), which was doing pretty well in New York in early 2010s. Grubhub closely studied Seamless’s efforts towards product enhancement & marketing, and implemented similar strategies for its own growth."
  • "One of the major reasons behind Grubhub’s successful expansion to San Francisco was their effort in offline marketing (such as posters/banners at transit hubs, buses, subways, where their prime target audience is bound to pass through). And over the years, this approach has paid them well. "
From Part 03