Update: MediaNama’s Apurva Venkat reports that UberEATS will be maintaining a fleet bike taxis for delivering foods. However, a spokesperson for Uber said that the bikes will only be delivery partners and cannot be used as a bike taxi. Uber added that the drivers will have to own their bikes and partner with Uber for deliveries. The spokesperson did not give a figure on the size of the bike taxi fleet.
Note that Uber had launched a bike taxi service last year called UberMOTO but had to shut it down in Bangalore and get the proper permits to run one. However, UberMOTO will remain operational in Gurgaon.
Earlier: Online cab aggregator Uber has finally launched its food delivery service UberEATS in India. To being with, UberEATS will start operations in Mumbai and will move to six more cities in the country. With this Uber will be competing against Zomato and Swiggy for online food delivery. There is also autorickshaw aggregator and delivery company Jugnoo, which started delivering food from nearby restaurants with its ‘Menus’ service.
At the moment, UberEATS is limited neighbourhoods in Worli, Juhu, Bandra West, and Powai and more areas are expected soon. Unlike Swiggy and Zomato, UberEATS allows a user to schedule an order in advance. The company mentioned that it has currently partnered with 200 restaurants in Mumbai. Note that in January, Uber was taking user input by asking them to list their favourite restaurants in their city, other than independently getting restaurants and cab drivers onboard. It is also aggregating services from existing kitchen players like Holachef, InnerChef and Fresh Menu.
UberEATS is currently available in 78 cities and includes 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.
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.
The Economic Times points out that Uber is expected to charge restaurants between 25% to 30% commission on each delivery. Swigggy charges its partner restaurants around 15-18% of the order value while Zomato charges average commission rates of ~8.5% (for restaurant-delivered orders).