As restaurants reopen and capacity limits hopefully become a thing of the past, online reservation platforms like Yelp, Open Table, and Resy are all booming. Diners want a seat at their favorite restaurant and, for the time being, operators are all too happy to outsource this function to third party platforms.
As the pandemic recedes, third-party delivery companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, which all remain unprofitable, are facing something of an existential crisis.
OK, it’s time to talk about non-fungible tokens, popularly called NFTs (if you don’t understand what this is, give me a sec, we will get there). The NFT market tripled in value to $250 million in 2020; in the first three months of 2021, consumers spent more than $200 million on NFTs.
Earlier this week, a bona fide controversy erupted among sneakerheads—shoe collectors who often turn to the reseller market to secure coveted, rare, and flashy shoes unavailable on manufacturers' direct-to-consumer channels. Joe Hebert, a 19-year-old shoe reseller, was profiled by a Bloomberg reporter who discovered that Hebert’s mother, Ann, was Nike’s Vice President and General Manager for North America. This means that Joe’s mom worked for the very company whose shoes he acquired en masse and sold at huge profits, earning up to $300,000 per month.
The pandemic has undeniably been a boon for third-party food delivery companies. DoorDash, as we described late last year, posted profits for the first time in its history, owing largely to pandemic-fueled deliveries to the suburbs. Similarly, Uber told investors late last year that it too expects to finally hit profitability, likely by the end of 2021, owing largely to—you guessed it—UberEats.