Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

You can now order food on Facebook... but why would you?

You can now order food on Facebook... but why would you?

The feature, which is simply dubbed "Order Food" on the site, teams the tech giant with food ordering services such as eatStreet, Delivery.com, ChowNow and Olo.

Facebook (FB) wants to be a bigger player in the restaurant game. It's ever so slightly faster if you're already on Facebook, I suppose - and good exposure for some of the services that users might not already be familiar with. Now, you'll be able to complete that order from within the app rather than having to call or pick a different delivery service.

"On this page, you can browse food options and select Start Order when you've found what you're looking for". Shares of food order and delivery service GrubHub Inc dropped almost 3%. "People already go to Facebook to browse restaurants and decide where to eat or where to order food, so we're making that easier". It's also working with restaurant chains directly, like Jack in the Box, Five Guys, Papa John's, Wingstop, TGI Friday's, Denny's, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Jimmy John's, and Panera. "You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food". Once you do, Facebook will bring up an in-app browser that takes you through the existing websites for Delivery.com and the others.

As Facebook explains it, ordering food is a natural next-step for the company.

According to Facebook Vice President and project leader Alex Himel, the feature has been in testing for the past year, and will now be available on Facebook's mobile apps as well as its desktop site. The value for Facebook is obvious; the company hopes you'll fill your craving and then keep swiping through your news feed with your greasy fingers.

It's another phase of Facebook's continued efforts to make its app extra-sticky, and reduce the number of times users feel the need to exit it.

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