Amazon has quietly started experimenting with delivery of hot meals from restaurants in the Seattle area, GeekWire has learned. Itâ€™s a sign that the e-commerce giant could soon throw its weight into the crowded market for delivering meals from restaurants to workplaces and homes. The company has been testing the service by allowing its own employees to order meals from restaurants in conjunction with the new Prime Now delivery service in Seattle, according to delivery drivers and others with knowledge of the initiative.
Several new Prime Now drivers told us the same ones handling restaurant deliveries. A sign observed by GeekWire inside Amazonâ€™s new Prime Now distribution facility, near Amazonâ€™s sprawling headquarters campus north of downtown Seattle, even offered instructions to drivers on how exactly to make restaurant pickups. Along with the introduction of Prime Now alcohol delivery and the mysterious â€œAmazon Flexâ€ package pickup service, the restaurant delivery experiment is another sign of the company using the Prime Now launch in its hometown to experiment with new concepts and services.
Amazon has nibbled around the edges of restaurant delivery in the past. For example, the current Amazon Local app lets users in Seattle order food for carryout, but Amazon does not offer its own delivery through that app. The companyâ€™s AmazonFresh grocery delivery service offers pre-made restaurant meals that customers can heat up at home.