By Spencer Feingold

Grubhub is focusing on partnerships with restaurateurs and food chains as the business continues its strategy for profitable growth, a company executive said.

“When we think about our success, it is inextricably connected to the success of the restaurant in our network,” Alex Weinstein, the company’s senior vice president of growth, told Cheddar at the mobile acquisition MAU conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “That is core to our strategy.”

Grubhub ($GRUB), the online and mobile food-ordering and delivery platform, has fundamentally changed the way customers order in and has enabled restaurants to feed more people since the advent of the gig economy. The company was founded in 2004 and went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

With more than 19 million active users accounting for $5 billion in food sales last year, GrubHub reported $1 billion in revenue, a sharp increase from 2017 when it booked $683 million. The company also posted $324 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2019, a 39 percent year-over-year increase from the $233 million in Q1 of 2018.

Grubhub’s stock, however, has struggled in the last year, down nearly 11 percent year-to-date and 30.5 percent in the last 12 months.

“We are able to, through our insights platform, give the restaurateur feedback that frankly is only possible because of the kind of scale that we have,” Weinstein said.

Just last week, the company signed an exclusive partnership with Just Salad, making Grubhub the only ordering platform available for the fast casual dining chain that focuses on healthy options.

"Delivery is a strategically important and natural extension of our business. In looking across all platforms, we recognize Grubhub is the most restaurant-centric partner,” Stephen Swartz, Just Salad's director of marketing, said in a statement.

In recent years, Grubhub has expanded its reach by acquiring major brands in the sector such as Seamless, LevelUp, Tapingo, AllMenus, and MenuPages. The company, however, faces competition from other food delivery services like Caviar, DoorDash, PostMates, and UberEATS.

“In this environment, the entirety of the food delivery space is being lifted,” Weinstein told Cheddar.

Weinstein added that the company is also expanding into rural and suburban markets, where there is “latent demand.”

“For every customer, whenever they come in, we think of a lasting relationship with them that will go on for years,” he said.