Food-delivery companies did record-breaking business during the pandemic, as millions of homebound Americans embraced the idea of ordering dinner via smartphone apps. Their valuations skyrocketed. They acquired reams of data that helped increase their efficiency. There was just one problem: Even at the height of their success, they weren’t making any money.
Now, as the pandemic wanes, companies like DoorDash Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Grubhub Inc. are trying to address what could be a life-or-death question: How can they make the math work?
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