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Uber's standalone food delivery app will launch in 12 more cities

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Ride-sharing is so passe

UberEats

UberEats, the rideshare company's standalone food delivery app, is rolling out in a dozen more cities over the next several weeks. Starting today, the app is live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston. And in the coming weeks, it will be available in New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Melbourne, Paris, and Seattle. The app is Uber's latest foray into delivery and logistics, as it looks to expand beyond its core service of for-hire vehicle rides.

Previously, UberEats was only available as an added feature in Uber's main app in more than a dozen cities. The company launched it as its own product in Toronto late last year, and apparently liked the results enough to expand it to many of its largest markets. "Hundreds" of restaurants in each city will be participating. And extra hungry users can pay extra for "instant delivery" option, in which Uber's couriers drive around packing pre-made meals that they can deliver in as little as 10 minutes.

Major expansion of Uber's food delivery experiment

UberEats will have a different rating system than the main app — thumbs up or thumbs down rather than zero-to-five stars. Customers will be able to rate both the food and the delivery, though it is unclear how those ratings will affect the independent contractors that deliver the food or the chefs that make it. (Uber drivers can be deactivated if their rating falls below 4.5 stars.) Some restaurants in New York City have complained about the large percentage per check that Uber was demanding for participation. And bike couriers who deliver for UberEats in the city worry about the lack of safety training or health insurance.

By expanding Eats, Uber is announcing its intention to compete with its Silicon Valley rivals in the increasingly hot food delivery market. Seamless, GrubHub, and Postmates already have a head start, and Uber, Amazon, and Square are trying to catch up.