New York is filling up with companies that deliver restaurant food to your door, and some residents can't get enough.
One woman profiled by the New York Post this week said she spends nearly $11,000 a year ordering food from delivery service Seamless. The 27-year-old said she borrowed her father's credit card for one week and charged $225 in delivered sushi, salads and other takeout.
Her father quickly ended her ritual, The Post reports.
Look out, America. This could be your future. As restaurant-delivery apps spread like wildfire throughout the country, more people are figuring out that it's really easy to push a few buttons on your phone, pay the bill and tip online, and get dinner 30 minutes later.
The habit is taking hold in New York, where about 58 percent of people's meals come from restaurants, either through takeout or dining in. The national average is 47 percent, Zagat reports.
"It's so easy to order that I can imagine there must be a good amount of people who use it for the majority of meals," New York resident Mike Lacher told CBS MoneyWatch. "If I had to guess, I'd imagine Seamless isn't so much switching people from dine-in to delivery, but more pushing them away from cooking at home."
Lacher and two partners created an app called Seamless Roulette that delivered customers food from a random restaurant. The customer specified how much money he or she wanted to spend and Seamless Roulette surprised them with an order.
Seamless eventually asked Lacher's team to shut the site down. "They thought it was funny, but ultimately they weren't comfortable with how the site operated," Lacher said.
Seamless merged with its chief rival, GrubHub (GRUB), last year. The enlarged company went public in April and raised nearly $200 million in the deal. Its shares have risen 35 percent since then to close Thursday at $35.28. Seamless now operates in more than 600 cities.
The business has become fiercely competitive as everyone from startups to Internet gorillas recognized the potential for America to start abandoning its kitchens in favor of ordering food. Amazon (AMZN) is testing a takeout and delivery service in its home town of Seattle, letting people pay with their regular Amazon accounts.
Startup Caviar specializes in upscale eateries and, unlike its competitors, will pick up and deliver the food instead of having the restaurants do it themselves. Up-and-coming payment company Square acquired Caviar in August. Other rivals in the space include WunWun and Postmates, both of which will pick up and deliver from retail stores in addition to restaurants.
New York's love affair with delivered food triggered a wave of self-loathing at Gothamist this week. "We created this bloated hydra all by ourselves," wrote Lauren Evans. "In conclusion, we're all awful. Hey what are you getting for lunch?"
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