Uber has revolutionized the transportation industry worldwide over the past few years. Can the mobile app now do the same for lunch delivery? After successful test runs in Los Angeles and Barcelona, Spain, the company launched its UberEats service in New York City and Chicago today.
So how exactly to eat lunch at your office desk via Uber? If you’re located in the current delivery zone (14th to 40th Streets in Manhattan and the Loop and River North in Chicago, with plans for expansion soon), open the app between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and slide over past the different ride options to the “EATS” section. Simply enter your address and view the day’s two options — the menu rotates daily and includes choices from some of the cities’ best restaurants. This week in NYC, UberEats is offering salads and sandwiches from popular spots including American Cut, Num Pang, Scarpetta, Mighty Quinn’s and Sweetgreen, among others. The dishes are priced between $8 and $15, and there is a $3 flat delivery charge on all orders ($4 in NYC). You pay for a meal using the same cashless payment method as for an Uber ride. Perhaps best of all, the food is delivered to your doorstep in 10 minutes or less. Now that’s serious tap-to-table, people.
The launch of UberEats comes at a busy time in the increasingly crowded food-delivery business. In addition to a number of third-party apps (Caviar and Served by Stadium come to mind) that have garnered attention recently, David Chang’s Maple also launched this morning in NYC. While the Momofuku founder’s new venture targets those who wish to eat health-driven, chef-cooked meals at home, UberEats aims to appeal to users who are looking primarily for convenience and accessibility (much like its trademark car service). Is the delivery industry profitable enough — and are there enough niches — for all these companies to succeed? Only time will tell. Maybe a little more time than 10 minutes, though.
Check out what’s going on in NYC food delivery on Food Republic: