With GrubHub’s New Driver-Tracking Feature DeliveryHub, GrubHub Now Alerts Diners About Order Status, Shows Deliveries On A Map

Chicago-based GrubHub, a startup that lets you order food for delivery or take out online or on mobile, is launching a new “Track Your Grub” set of features as a part of its DeliveryHub driver tracking and order assignment system. DeliveryHub quietly rolled out back in October, and today over 100 restaurants in New York, Chicago, Boston, D.C., Philly and San Francisco, are now displaying the “Track Your Grub” badges on both web and mobile.

For these restaurants, customers are alerted via SMS and/or in-app notifications when the restaurant confirms the order and then when the order has left for delivery or is ready for pick-up. Additionally, starting today, a handful of restaurants from this original install base in New York and Chicago are now rolling out an additional feature as part of the order-tracking system: maps. That is, customers can see where their food is after the driver has left the restaurant with their order, and they will receive notifications when the driver is 10 minutes away from the destination.

The feature is made possible by the tight integration between GrubHub’s back-end systems, OrderHub and DeliveryHub. OrderHub, launched in May 2012, is a tablet-based technology which ties the online and mobile ordering component from GrubHub to software running on locked-down Android tablets mounted in the restaurant, likely near the point-of-sale system and phone where called-in orders are generally taken. At launch, the system had rolled out to 400 restaurants in the Chicago market. Today, GrubHub says there are 1,600 OrderHubs used nationwide.

As for DeliveryHub, in addition to providing the customer with increased visibility into the status of their order, drivers can use the system to map the most efficient route and restaurant owners can also use the system to assign orders to drivers and track their locations.

Today, the “Track Your Grub” badges will appear on GrubHub to indicate which restaurants have order-tracking implemented. However, there’s not a way to tell which also offer the mapping feature, though the company tells us that the install base will grow throughout this year and 2013. One in the New York area that diners can look up is Mamma’s Pizza & Restaurant in Bayside, and in Chicago, there’s Calo Restorante on Clark St.

“Track Your Grub brings a new level of transparency to the takeout industry. Never before has this technology been available to local independent restaurants, but this is the kind of innovation GrubHub diners have come to expect from us,” says GrubHub’s CEO Matt Maloney of today’s announcements, “we are happy to deliver.”
Update: TechCrunch Co-editor Eric Eldon, an unabashed GrubHub user and late-night Chinese food specialist, put the announcement in perspective, saying, “GrubHub’s new SMS and mapping features give me the time I need to put on pants — before the delivery person even rings the doorbell.”