Uber plans on launching a full food delivery service in 10 US cities in the coming weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company will introduce a dedicated mobile app, UberEats, for customers in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and six other destinations that will let users order lunch and dinner from local restaurants and have the food delivered by an Uber driver. The app is estimated to launch in late March, the report says.
The initiative is a robust expansion of a stand-alone food delivery app in Toronto in which Uber partnered with more than 100 local restaurants for all-day food delivery in the Canadian city. All 10 cities already participate in Uber's existing lunch delivery service, but UberEats will expand to include dinner while the lunch-only service will be renamed Instant Delivery. The other launch cities for UberEats include Washington, DC, Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Austin. The number of restaurants and the hours of availability will differ from city to city.
Uber is coming to eat Seamless’ lunch
Uber is facing competition from a slew of well-established food delivery companies like Seamless, Postmates, and DoorDash. What Uber lacks in experience, however, it may make up for in logistical technology. Uber says it will estimate the amount of time a food order will take to prepare, and then locate a nearby driver to pick it up when Uber predicts it's ready. If multiple food orders are close to one another, Uber will try and coordinate a single driver to pick up and delivery all of them.
Uber plans on charging a fee of $5 per delivery, but the price will vary depending on the city. The company plans on sharing the fee with drivers, and also demanding a fee from restaurants to coordinate and carry out the pickup and delivery. Uber says it will give drivers the option to participate in the service. The lunch-only service right now pays some drivers an hourly rate and others on a per delivery basis.