GrubHub is bringing restaurant ordering into the 21st century

Delivery and takeout order service GrubHub is testing its OrderHub service  in more than 400 restaurants in Chicago. I’ve complimented GrubHub before for adapting to how restaurants do business — by sending orders to them by fax. Now it’s helping some of its higher volume restaurants in Chicago automate the process with OrderHub, a tablet that alerts restaurants to new orders and allows them to confirm the order.

I visited GrubHub’s Chicago headquarters last week and the device I saw being used was the re-branded Kindle Fire pictured above.

The company says it has tested a variety of tablets, but using the Kindle Fire for small businesses is a great idea: It’s cheap and portable. GrubHub provides the tablets to restaurants at no cost, eliminating a key barrier in adopting new technologies. The company says that its surveys have shown that 80-92% of restaurants already have Internet access, eliminating another potential barrier. (GrubHub makes its money by taking a percentage of each order — typically 10%-30%.)

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