Cab aggregator Uber is planning to launch UberEATS, its standalone on-demand meal delivery app in India. The company is currently taking user input by asking them to list their favourite restaurants in their city, other than independently getting resturants and cab drivers onboard.
With this move Uber will essentially compete in the food delivery vertical with companies like FoodPanda, Swiggy, Zomato etc., although it won’t be the first company to do so. Earlier this month on-demand rickshaw aggregator and delivery company Jugnoo started delivering food from nearby restaurants with its newly launched ‘Menus’ service after initially entering the food delivery space with the launch of ‘Fatafat’ service in August last year.
Similarly, competitor Ola had earlier debuted its food delivery service called OlaCafe in March 2015. By March 2016, Ola shut down the app; a Livemint report stated that OlaCafe ‘failed to meet expectations’ after it faced competition from other food delivery services. Unlike Jugnoo which operates rickshaws, both Ola and Uber operate taxis, essentially increasing the cost of deliveries as compared to Jugnoo, and as such, might find it too inefficient to use their vehicles for low cost, low distance deliveries. It will be interesting to see how Uber handles this competition, as other food delivery services in the market are currently quite well established.
UberEATS is currently available in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Lyon, Singapore, Stockholm, Taipei, Tokyo, Milan, Paris, Vienna, and multiple cities in the US, Australia, Canada, and Mexico. However, it’s not clear which Indian city the company will target first. The app essentially works like any other food delivery app, listing nearby restaurants and menus that users can order from, which can be paid for online.