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R.I.P. Amazon Restaurants Delivery

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? Pour one out for Amazon Restaurants delivery service, the four-year-old program that was essentially UberEats or Seamless, but for Amazon Prime members. GeekWire reports Amazon will shut down the service, currently operating in about 20 U.S. cities, later this month. It will also fold its office-lunch delivery service called Daily Dish.

You may be shocked (shocked!) to find that my base of Missoula, Montana was not one of the 20 metropolises chosen for the service, but my Takeout colleague Allison Shoemaker tells me she used Amazon Restaurants a few times to order from a Chicago sandwich and soup restaurant she likes. Her first delivery was two hours late; the process improved after that, she says.

There was a core difference between Amazon Restaurants and the Seamless/Door Dash/UberEats of the world, though. Amazon Restaurants was only a web-ordering platform; restaurants themselves, not a third-party apps' contractors, delivered the food. Of course, that's potentially irrelevant to customers who only care that they can order food online and have it delivered in a timely—and, if we're lucky, accurate—fashion.

With so much competition out there for food delivery from those apps, from restaurants themselves, and from grocery stores, it's logical that an Amazon service I hadn't heard of until today didn't rise above the fray. Amazon has also recently kicked in quite a chunk of change to U.K. delivery company Deliveroo, money it clearly didn't think was fit to invest back into its own service.