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Groupon takes on Seamless and GrubHub with online food ordering service

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Groupon is getting into online food ordering. It's launching a new service today called Groupon To Go, which allows people to order food online for pickup or delivery. The service is only available in Chicago for now, with over 500 restaurants supporting it. Groupon plans to expand the service quickly, with service in Austin and Boston launching this fall. As for why you'd switch to Groupon over Seamless? It's not clear in the long run, but for the moment, Groupon is offering a 10 percent discount on all orders. The offer isn't permanent, and it's not clear how long it'll stick around for.

Groupon bought a food ordering startup two weeks ago

Though Groupon To Go is only active in a single city right now, Groupon actually has a larger presence in online food ordering under another name. Two weeks ago, Groupon acquired OrderUp, another food ordering platform that's already serving over 40 cities. Groupon plans on keeping the OrderUp name around in "midsize markets" — which appears to be most of what OrderUp is currently serving — but the Groupon name is what'll be used when it hits major cities like Boston.

The platform is basic for now, but Groupon is already planning a number of improvements. That includes the ability for Groupon itself to handle delivery services for restaurants, giving Groupon another avenue for profiting off of its new service. That's certainly something Groupon has on its mind while venturing into this emerging sales category, as it's still struggling to turn itself into a profitable company. A number of consumer-facing Groupon To Go features are also being planned, including the ability to schedule delivery and takeout orders, which should be a wonderful feature for the supremely lazy.