Amazon has begun food delivery to customers in Manhattan from some of the borough's top restaurants as part of its new Prime Now food delivery service. Among the trendy eateries on the menu are Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, Umami Burger, John's of Bleecker Street and Junior's Restaurant & Cheesecake.
In addition to hosting some of the best-known and loved restaurants in Manhattan, Amazon is touting its service as offering guaranteed delivery within one hour, with a promise that the price of any item on any of the menus of the over 350 food spots will be exactly the same as if it were ordered in the restaurant, with no delivery fee.
"The price customers pay with Amazon Restaurants on Prime Now is the same price they will pay at the restaurant, or their money back," promised spokesman Tom Cook. "We will refund any customer who pays more with Prime Now than they would have at the restaurant."
Amazon's main competitors, Seamless and GrubHub, have been struggling with member restaurants that have been jacking up their online menu prices in order to offset the 12 to 24 percent fee that the companies charge them to provide online ordering services. Amazon actually charges the restaurants even more, up to 30 percent of the item's cost, but Amazon is also providing the delivery service, while GrubHub and Seamless members use their own delivery personnel.
The service, which is also adding Dallas this week, has already rolled out in Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The free delivery was touted as a temporary perk in those cities when first tested, but has now become a permanent staple of the service.
Some of the restaurants included are among the most popular in town, and have never offered delivery before. John's of Bleecker Street has been famous for years for its "no slices, no delivery" policy, and busy upstarts like Umami Burger also previously offered only eat-in options.