Reporting Kate Sullivan
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CHICAGO (CBS) – One Chicago company has done really well in this down economy, partly because they help other businesses to do the same. Thursday is the 8th anniversary of Chicago startup Grubhub, a website for the very hungry; and yes, they are hiring.
Eight years ago, Matt Maloney and Mike Evans were sitting at home, hungry, and looking for delivery options.
“Tired of ordering pizza from the same place; and we said ‘You know what? There should be something online to help us find all the restaurants that deliver,’” Maloney said.
So they created a website called Grubhub. The concept is simple: you want food delivered to your home, they tell you which restaurants will deliver to your address, and you order your food online.
“Then restaurants started contacting us, saying “I want to advertise on your site,’” Maloney said. “And we said, ‘Hey, this is a business.’”
That was 2004, when their whole company fit in one office. Now, Grubhub has grown 100 percent every year since then.
Last year they had 150 people employees, and now they have 300 workers and are still growing.
“We are actually looking for all kinds of people,” Maloney said. “We are looking for, obviously, senior technology engineers. We’re also looking for all the way down to entry-level customer service reps.”
Their call center is open 24/7, awaiting calls from people who may have issues with their delivery order.
If you’ve forgotten something, you can call Grubhub and fix your order.
“I think it’s one of our most common calls,” Evans said.
Their business model calls for them to help restaurants increase their bottom line by adding delivery services.
“We’re actually bringing them a significant amount of orders every month and that helps them stay in business,” Maloney said.
And vice versa; Grubhub is now operating in 300 cities, and has menus for 13,000 restaurants available online; not bad for an idea inspired from a hungry evening.
“Just do it. Quit your job and go for it. And I know that’s about scary as it gets, but that’s the point,” Maloney said. “You know, when you’re working without a net, and you don’t know how you’re going to make rent, that’s when you come up with the best ideas.”
Both Maloney and Evans had a job and a background in information technology when they started Grubhub. They said they are proud to be a part of the growing Chicago startup scene.
On Thursday, they are donating a portion of every order to Feeding America.