While Uber has enjoyed considerable success with its car service, the company is hoping to become a major player in the food delivery market with the launch a stand-alone app represented by a simple fork icon.
Uber builds off ride-hailing app with UberEATS
San Francisco, one of five cities where the UberEATS app is now live, has already enjoyed a bit of food delivery from Uber when it launched a tab embedded into its ride-hailing app last summer. However, that service was limited to lunch delivery and a limited amount of menu options. That has changed with the new stand-alone app that went live this week and allows users to order food from 8AM to 10PM and select food from over 100 restaurants. Presently, there is no delivery fee but that will change in the coming months.
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“We are excited to launch the UberEats app, which leverages our logistics network and technology to bring food from San Francisco’s best restaurants to you, whether you’re at home, in the office, or even relaxing in Dolores Park,” Susan Alban, UberEverything’s San Francisco general manager, wrote yesterday. “We have seen a huge appetite for food on demand and have heard from restaurant partners what an important revenue stream UberEats has become for them, so we are thrilled to expand together.”
The app and service was first introduced for testing in Toronto in December and was followed by a slow roll-out in Los Angeles earlier this year. Yesterday, Uber added San Francisco, Houston and Chicago to the list of cities where the app has gone live.
That handful of cities will soon be joined by a much longer list when Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Seattle and Washington, D.C. are added before the end of April.
“We learned quickly that requesting a ride and ordering a meal are two very different experiences. They each deserve their own home,” UberEATS Product Manager Chetan Narain said in a press release when explaining the stand-alone app approach.
Uber won’t be without competition with UberEATS
San Francisco will see a whole lot of competition for Uber from companies like GrubHub, DoorDash, Munchery and Sprig.
“In my view, it’s probably one of the single most overcrowded spaces that exist in the digital economy,” said Canvas Ventures partner Ben Narasin. “Uber’s got a phenomenal brand and network, but they are trying to compete with people who offer basically the same thing.”
That doesn’t seem to bother Uber as the company believes it has the infrastructure and drivers in place to make it work.
“Everybody takes different approaches to delivery; Ours is that we want to represent the restaurants really well and work with them,” Uber spokeswoman Sarah Maxwell told FOXBusiness.com.
“In the new app, there’s a lot of really beautiful food photography and that’s something we figured out pretty early on – that people really enjoy that visual aspect and they eat with their eyes so to speak.”
So, Uber is hoping that food porn will rule the day?
“We’re able to send a driver for pickup when [the food] is almost ready so there’s very little downtime in between when the food is ready and when someone is coming to get it…We’re really great at getting things to people quickly.”
With free delivery for the time being, there is little doubt that Uber will be delivery quite a bit for awhile. After that…..?