UberEats, the restaurant delivery service from ride-share behemoth Uber, has begun its expanded rollout across America. The standalone UberEats app is now available on Android and iOS, and deliveries have begun in select cities, with more to come in the next couple of weeks.
Until now, UberEats has deployed as a niche operation in 10 cities across America, catering to the working-lunch crowd. But the relaunched version operates from morning through evening, serving from dozens of restaurants in each city. The company began a trial run of the new service in Toronto late last year, and it officially announced expansion in January.
The Verge reports UberEats's expanded delivery is live in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Melbourne, Paris, and Seattle will join the party "in the coming weeks." For those cities where full delivery is not yet available, "Instant Delivery," a rehash of the company's old working-lunch model, is available from limited locations in specific neighborhoods. Instant Delivery promises food dropped off within 10 minutes of ordering.
Upon downloading the app, users can either sign up for an account or have their existing Uber account and payment information linked to UberEats. The app allows for browsing of restaurants by location, cuisine, type of meal, and name. Users are able to rate drivers and food with thumbs-up or -down options, as opposed to the star system employed by Uber's ride-share app.
UberEats charges diners a delivery fee of roughly $5 per order, and part of that goes to drivers. For restaurants, using UberEats is a little more expensive than other delivery services. Companies such as GrubHub, Postmates, and Seamless charge restaurants roughly 12 to 24 percent of checks, but UberEats reportedly is taking a 30 percent chunk. Still, some restaurateurs think the higher price is worth it.
"They are organized and we were impressed with their delivery system," a spokesperson for Atlanta-based restauranteur Ford Fry told Eater. "They also worked closely with us regarding the meal choices — they have made helpful suggestions regarding what sells best and why."
UberEats 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 it is attempting to conquer. In addition to an assortment of successful delivery start-ups, tech and shipping giant Amazon recently entered the game.