Amazon Prime now offers food delivery
HENLEY DOHERTY | ASST. BUSINESS EDITOR | THE USD VISTA | @ralphlaurhen
Amazon Prime is a staple for many students at the University of San Diego, offering a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and free shipping on ordered items. Amazon now offers a new food delivery service through its app, Amazon Prime Now.
This service is similar to the other food delivery services such as Postmates and Doordash. These two apps are already commonly used by students at USD, but Amazon’s Prime Now may become the new top food-delivery app amongst students.
Amazon Prime Now is an app that allows members of Amazon Prime to order products and items to be delivered within a few hours. Amazon has now added a food delivery service to the app, partnering with local restaurants and shops and in turn changing their business model in competing with new and greater market segments.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, through the Amazon Prime Now app, San Diego residents can get hot food delivered to them from over 90 restaurants, in 16 different zip code zones throughout the city. These local restaurants include Cafe21, Rubicon Deli, Miller’s Field, Tandoori House, Devine Pastabilities, Native Foods Cafe, and Embargo Grill.
Amazon has also partnered with various convenience, liquor, and grocery stores, allowing you to order everything from grocery items to household necessities such as toothpaste and laundry detergent.
In contrast, the food delivery app Postmates offers consumers a selection of various different restaurants, such as J&T Thai Street Food, The Kebab Shop, Tender Greens, Chipotle, Puesto, and Board & Brew. Postmates also offers delivery services from local grocery and convenience stores.
Prime Now’s food delivery service was first launched in San Diego to be used as a test market in November. The service has since been competing with Postmates, Doordash, and other food-delivery services. San Diego was the seventh city in the U.S. for the service to be released in.
Prime Now’s food delivery is currently available in just over 20 cities, as the company is still testing the service in these different locations.
Amazon’s Prime Now app works similarly to Postmates and Doordash: you search nearby restaurants within your zipcode, place an order, and the food is delivered to you.
Prime Now guarantees your food to be delivered within an hour, and you can keep track of the status of your food as it is on its way to you. As of now, the company charges no delivery fee for users in San Diego.
Amazon isn’t the only new company to be entering the app-based food delivery market, however.
The taxi service Uber has developed its own version of speedy food delivery, with its new app called UberEATS. This app is completely separate from the original Uber rideshare app, so you can’t use it to find transportation. Instead, just like Postmates and Amazon Prime Now, UberEATS allows you to order hot food from a selection of restaurants in the local area, and it is delivered to you by an Uber driver.
Amazon’s new food service is an added benefit to those who already use Amazon Prime, as members are receiving more bang for their buck.
Amazon requires one annual fee of about $99 to become a member, and shipping of all ordered items is free.
However, Prime Now does not currently offer all of the same restaurant choices as services such as Postmates, and offers options that are generally less popular with students of USD.
Since Postmates and Doordash are already used by many students, it now is a question of whether more students will become Amazon Prime members in order to take advantage of this new service.
Sophomore Anika Ahuja has not used the food delivery app Postmates, but shared her thoughts on this service and of Amazon Prime Now.
“It’s expensive to get things delivered so I haven’t had the desire to order anything from Postmates,” Ahuja said. “My mom is a member of Amazon Prime Now and I use her account! I love their quick delivery on prime goods. I honestly didn’t know they were doing food delivery but since I’ve had such great experiences with their other services, I would be more willing to continue to use their service.”
Senior Maxine Velez has used Postmates to get food delivered to her and is also a member of Amazon Prime.
“I have used Postmates on two occasions and the process itself is an easy and convenient experience, but I was disappointed with the pricing,” Velez said. “They charge you a high-price delivery fee and you’re expected to tip the driver along with the delivery fee which is sometimes more than what you pay for the actual food.”
Velez also shared her thoughts on the Amazon Prime Now app’s new food delivery service.
“I’m already an Amazon Prime member, but their food delivery service would make me become a member if I was not already one”, Velez said.
While students who already have an account with Amazon Prime are most likely to take advantage of their new food delivery service, this added service may make an Amazon Prime membership more attractive to students without an account.
In general, food delivery apps such as Postmates and Amazon Prime Now are useful to hungry students without a car on USD’s campus.
With food ordering services provided by apps such as Amazon Prime Now and UberEATS, the local food delivery market is becoming increasingly competitive.
Only time will tell which app will become the most successful amongst USD students and San Diego residents.