EMAILED ON October 16, 2017 BY Lindsey Quinn

Facebook follows the pack — gets into the online food biz

The blue ‘book recently released its plans to take over the food game: an “Order Food” button now appears under the “Explore” section of Facebook’s home page, where you can pull up nearby restaurants with ratings and price estimates.

Some of these restaurants also have a “Start Order” button in case you’re in the middle of poking someone and decide: I’m hungry.

So why does Facebook want to get into the food fray?

The ease of online ordering is enticing more people to eat in than ever (experts predict a 79% surge in the US food home delivery market in the next 5 years) — and, with online delivery currently representing 43% of all delivery orders, the market is looking pretty lucrative.

Case in point: in August, GrubHub paid $287.5m in cash to acquire Yelp’s Eat24, and startups like DoorDash and Postmates have raised millions from venture capitalists to expand food service options.

To be fair, Facebook is easing into this (for once)

The company has been testing its food platform since last year and is rolling it out in the US first to see if it catches on.

And while it isn’t actually getting into the business of delivery (yet), it’s definitely heading that way by locking down a way to simplify the ordering process.

At the end of the day, it makes sense. Adding another fairly routine task to the platform gives users more of a reason to never close their FB feed.

We’ll give it a year until there are blue Facebook delivery vans roaming the streets. You heard it here first, people.