Saucey’s Feeling a Bit Saucy After Big Infusion of Cash

Saucey, an alcohol-delivery company based in Los Angeles, has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding led by Bullpen Capital, with participation from earlier and new investors, including Blumberg Capital, Structure Capital and HashtagOne. The company has now raised $10.2 million altogether. In addition to direct rivals like Drizly, Thirstie and Swill, delivery companies like Postmates and Instacart are increasingly focusing on new categories, including alcohol delivery. Amazon is also beginning to offer beer and wine delivery in a growing number of cities.
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On a similar note: Postmates is rolling out an expanded selection of alcohol available for delivery in San Francisco and Los Angeles and giving the booze catalogue much more prominent billing in the app. The startup plans to expand its selection of goods from liquor stores in other cities in coming months, with the goal of generating $10 million in revenue from the category in 2017. Postmates guarantees alcohol deliveries in 25 minutes.
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TripAdvisor Enters the Food Ordering Arena Abroad

Consumers using TripAdvisor across 12 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia will now be able to order food from more than 20,000 restaurants following the travel site’s partnership with Deliveroo. Deliveroo has restaurant partners in some 140 cities, according to a report from Reuters. TripAdvisor signed a similar deal in May with GrubHub to offer food delivery in the U.S. London-based Deliveroo is a privately held startup competing in the premium restaurant delivery (via bicycle or scooter) space with the likes of Foodora, part of Berlin-based Delivery Hero.
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Growth Continues for Delivery Service Waitr

Regional on-demand restaurant delivery platform Waitr is expanding its reach in its home state following the launch earlier this month in Monroe, which is Louisiana’s eighth largest city. The service, founded by Chris Meaux in Lake Charles in 2015, has more than 2,000 restaurants partners and claims hundreds of thousands of users. Waitr employs its own drivers and charges a flat $5 delivery fee; it also serves as a portal for carryout orders. Last month Waitr launched in Birmingham, Alabama, a state where it’s already in other large cities such as Tuscaloosa and Mobile. The service is also active in Gulfport, Mississippi, and the Texas markets of Houston, Beaumont and Longview.
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Trademark Portends Amazon Meal Kit Plans

First grocery and now meal kits… Amazon is likely making some people nervous with a new trademark that shows the company is getting into the world of meal kits.

Amazon registered a trademark in the U.S. for a service described as: “We do the prep. You be the chef.” The patent ( covers a lot of ground with goods and services: Prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or and vegetables and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal; Frozen, prepared, and packaged meals consisting of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables; fruit salads and vegetable salads; soups and preparations for making soups. The news was not great for Blue Apron stock, the freshly public company saw its stock sink by nearly 9 percent after the news was released.

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Panera Bread Creating 10,000 Delivery Jobs by Year End

Panera Bread expects to add more than10,000 new in-cafe and delivery driver jobs system-wide by the end of 2017 as it expands delivery service to 35-40 percent of its cafes by year-end. “Panera is doing for delivery what we did for quick service—creating an elevated guest experience end-to-end,” Ron Shaich, Panera founder, chairman and CEO said. “In many places across the country, all that’s available for delivery is pizza or Chinese food. We’re closing the gap in delivery alternatives and creating a way for people to have more options for real food delivered to their homes and workplaces.”

Panera Bread first introduced its Panera Delivery program in early 2015. To enable its delivery program, Panera is hiring its own drivers in company-owned and franchised markets across the country. These in-house drivers, with daytime hours and competitive wages, are bringing a new level of enthusiasm and delight to customers accustomed to a more traditional delivery experience.

“For the first time, Panera Delivery is making it possible for us to hand deliver our great food directly to people where they work and live,” said Blaine Hurst, president, Panera Bread. “For us, hiring our own drivers was the only way we could ensure that our delivery guests get the same high quality experience they have come to expect from our bakery cafes.”

More On The Aftermath of Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods

Fooddive reports that 62 percent of shoppers are more likely to shop at Whole Foods after the Amazon acquisition and 84 percent have positive feelings about the merger, according to a report by ChargeItSpot. The cell phone charging station provider polled 900 shoppers from across the country for the study.

When asked what Amazon should add or change at Whole Foods stores, the top three responses were cashier-free checkout (31%), lower prices (30%) and in-store pickup for Amazon purchases (19%).

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