Uber is getting serious about the food delivery business. According to Wired, the ride-hailing company is launching a stand-alone version of its UberEats feature, in which Uber drivers deliver food from trendy restaurants. But the app is only available in Toronto, and only to iOS users.
Uber is a latecomer to the delivery business
Currently, UberEats is only available in 12 cities as a feature users can toggle to within the regular app. It only offered one meal choice from up to three restaurants each day. Now, hungry users in Toronto will be able to order anything from the menus of over 100 participating eateries. Delivery is free for the rest of December, and really hungry users with a little extra cash can opt to have their lunch delivered in 10 minutes or less.
"Toronto's world class food and tech scenes make it the perfect global launch city for the new app," Bowie Cheung, general manager of UberEverything in Toronto, writes in a blog post. "And Torontonians like you — who've embraced UberEats from the beginning — are the perfect ones to try it first."
The announcement of Uber's first spinoff app is significant as the company makes further incursions into the world of delivery and logistics. Its also a power move by the newly anointed $62.5 billion company that signals its intentions to compete with its tech rivals for food delivery dominance. Companies like Seamless and Postmates already have a fairly large head start, and others like Amazon and Square are getting into the game.
Over the past few months, Uber has been testing new products in various North American cities at a furious pace, mostly centered around its core business of summoning a ride. UberRush launched in three cities back in October. Its commuter services are being piloted in San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle. And its carpooling feature is growing in popularity in cities across the country.
But Uber is a latecomer to the delivery business, which raises questions about whether the company can expect the same kind of disruption that it achieved in the taxi industry.