Yelp Acquires Eat24
Yelp, the popular restaurant and business review site, has officially announced the acquisition of Eat24, an online service for ordering restaurant food, according to a press release. Yelp acquired the company for an estimated $134 million. Students of online cooking classes and food service industry are increasingly looking for new ways to reach customers as the Internet becomes a growing resource for ordering food, and as a tech bigwig in the field, it seems Yelp is trying to cash in on that trend. Eat24 currently serves about 20,000 restaurants, but Yelp notes that it hopes to raise this number to more than one million eateries across the country.
Why Yelp purchased Eat24
Eater points out that Yelp has been trying to broaden its portfolio of services over the past few years, specifically by creating a reservation platform that’s free for restaurants that have claimed a Yelp page. Yelp intends to use its own services to drive engagement on Eat24, which will then in turn lead to a more comprehensive system of seeking out restaurants that are well reviewed and then ordering their food. In the press release, Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman explained:
“As more food ordering transactions move online, further integrating Eat24 will enhance our user experience with an easy-to-use product and service that allows our large consumer audience to transact directly with businesses. Eat24 has developed a great solution and unique service that has already added great value to the Yelp Platform. With this acquisition, we gain more tools and expertise to help engage our users from discovery through transaction in a key vertical for Yelp.”
Eat24 has built up a positive reputation in the online food takeout and delivery space by offering around the clock support and a 24/7 live chat line for users. Yelp is certain to be able to help Eat24 quickly expand its Web presence, and it likely won’t be long before Yelp has made it possible to make reservations, order food and leave restaurant reviews all in one online location. In the press release, Yelp also included a brief business outlook for 2015.
For the industry at large this acquisition is a sign of the growing trend of diners seeking out food on the Internet rather than at a brick-and-mortar location. Hypothetically, if online platforms such as Yelp can collaborate with eateries effectively, it could make the process of ordering food or finding restaurants more efficient.