Uber is known for efficiently providing car rides with the touch of a button. Now, Uber is throwing its hat into the rapidly growing food-delivery service industry with the launch of its standalone app, UberEATS.
The service was launched in New York City just last week, putting it in direct competition with established companies like Seamless, Maple and Caviar. But even with fierce competition, UberEATS claims to deliver their food “faster than anyone else,” according to their website, with delivery times as low as 10 minutes. The app delivers seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Food from the app will be delivered by bicycle and can be charged to customers’ existing Uber accounts. Like Seamless, UberEATS offers free delivery, which already gives it a leg up on Maple and Caviar’s delivery fees. Additionally, the app does not require tipping, a feature unique to UberEATS, and serves from three restaurants — Le District, Fat Radish and Tartinery — that are exclusive to the app.
Uber applies many of its existing features to UberEATS. Just as you can track your driver on Uber, you can follow along on the app as your meal is prepared and delivered. Customers can choose from regular delivery or the “instant delivery” option, which features 4-5 different meals a day that are guaranteed to be delivered in 10 minutes or less. Meals typically cost between $8 to $12.
CAS freshman Hemanee Sharma is skeptical about whether Uber can successfully transition into the food-delivery service. For her, the company functions best for transportation.
“I think the brand association with Uber and transportation is a little too strong to launch a food delivery app,” Sharma said. “Seamless has been doing the same thing for years with reliable results, so I would be hesitant to switch to UberEATS.”
However, Emily Rachel Fernandez, a freshman in the College of Nursing, would give the app a try simply because of Uber’s existing reputation.
“I honestly think I would try it out at least once depending on the restaurants and food chains that are involved,” Fernandez said. “I have used Seamless before and have had problems like the food not coming on time, but for some reason I think UberEATS would be more reliable because of Uber’s reputation as a car service. I think it’s going to take some time for people to hear about it and actually use it.”
Currently, the app has launched in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Toronto, as well as NYC. After a few months of trial in each city, Uber will decide whether or not to release its app in other locations across the country.
Email Ankita Bhanot at [email protected]