Food delivery looks like another gig-economy dead end
As third-quarter earnings season rolls on, a paradox confronts the restaurant industry. On the one hand, restaurant companies are touting the rise of off-premise and digital sales, which includes delivery, as an increasingly important source of growth. On the other, GrubHub Inc. just announced disappointing quarterly results and said that food delivery is only a means to an end, unlikely to ever be profitable on its own. The risk heading into 2020 is that the inevitable reckoning for the food-delivery businesses will spread to the broader restaurant industry.