Photograph by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images
By Leena Rao
May 17, 2016

Only weeks after debuting its free restaurant delivery in San Francisco, Amazon is bringing the service to another market saturated with restaurant delivery upstarts: Manhattan.

Members of the company’s subscription program, Prime Now, will be able to get meals from over 350 Manhattan restaurants delivered to their doorsteps within an hour, the company said on Tuesday. It also said that it would expand its meal delivery service to Dallas.

Customers pay only for their food with no delivery fee beyond their $99 annual Prime membership. Free delivery is also now a standard feature on Prime Now, instead of the incentive being offered for a limited time.

Customers who live in restaurant delivery areas see an option in Prime Now’s mobile app for ordering meals. They can also use the apps to see restaurant menus and track the status of their deliveries.

Amazon’s move into San Francisco brings the number of cities where restaurant meal delivery is available to nine. San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Austin, and Portland, Ore. are among the other locations.

Prime Now does not yet deliver to Brooklyn.

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The e-commerce giant has been using free restaurant deliveries as yet another way to make Prime, which includes free two-day shipping on more than 20 million items on Amazon’s marketplace, more useful. The company has expanded the program to include other services like same-day delivery along with access to streamed songs, movies, and TV shows. Amazon Prime is betting that the growing list of services included in Prime—the entertainment options, grocery delivery, and free shipping on certain items like toilet paper and diapers—will make its service more appealing.

Amazon takes a cut of each meal bill from the restaurant from which it was ordered. In terms of delivery, Amazon uses the same couriers who deliver Prime Now packages.

But like San Francisco, Manhattan is a highly competitive market for meal deliveries. Postmates, Square’s Caviar, and DoorDash all let customers place restaurant orders through their apps and then pick up and deliver the orders to them. GrubHub and GrubHub-owned Seamless also field orders for restaurants and handle delivery.

Meanwhile, on-demand transportation giant Uber is rapidly expanding its nascent meal-delivery service, UberEats. In January, Uber said that its food delivery app would expand from lunch delivery to all-day service in 10 U.S. cities, including New York City.

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