Rideshare giant Uber has been cautiously wading into the food delivery waters with its UberEats service, which originally launched back in September 2014. But, the company is about to begin directly competing against delivery services such as Seamless and Postmates, reports the Wall Street Journal. An expanded version of UberEats is expected to launch across 10 cities in the coming weeks.
UberEats has been trying out its expanded service in Toronto since December. There, delivery from more than 100 restaurants in the city is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and customers use the service with a standalone iOS app. An Uber spokesperson previously told Eater the company had no plans to expand the new app into other cities, but it appears that line of thinking has changed. The WSJ reports the expanded version of UberEats will soon launch in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Austin.
The original UberEats is a much more limited service that caters to the working lunch crowd. It's typically available in specific, business-heavy neighborhoods and offers limited menus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Delivery is requested through the Uber app.
Uber's new service will reportedly charge a delivery fee of roughly $5 per order, and part of that will go to drivers. The company may have a built-in advantage because it already employs a roster of contract workers, but challenges exist. Perhaps the biggest issue is the crowded market UberEats is attempting to conquer. In addition to an assortment of successful delivery start-ups, tech and shipping giant Amazon recently entered the game.
News of the expansion comes on the heels of UberRush's announced partnership with ChowNow. That service allows any San Francisco, Chicago, and New York restaurant that uses ChowNow's ordering platform to offer delivery via UberRush, Uber's on-demand delivery service.
Update: January 21, 1:15 p.m. Reached for comment, an Uber spokesperson tells Eater, "We are thrilled to expand the UberEats app to all UberEats cities — and more — very soon. We're very excited to work with cities' favorite restaurants for a delicious, local experience every time.
"We plan on releasing the app to all U.S. UberEats markets by the end of March. Hours will vary by city — as you can imagine in a place like NYC it's possible the hours would be later. We currently offer UberEats service in 10 markets in the U.S., so those are the 10 that will be included at the launch."