Unsatisfied with simply providing convenient travel to-and-from our favorite local restaurants, Uber has launched a program here in Chicago to bring a sample of the restaurant to you.
The company’s appropriately-named UberEATS has teamed up with restaurants in Chicago, NYC, and Los Angeles to deliver lunchtime deliciousness via Uber drivers, all within the same ecosystem as its transportation service.
UberEATS currently features a single offering from two restaurants per day — though, no telling what the service may offer in terms of variety down the line. While some of the restaurants featured aren’t exclusive to Uber (Freshii, for example), others appear to be — for instance, this Friday, DMK Burger Bar’s #1 can be brought to your door for $10; and today, Rick Bayless’ Xoco was featured.
UberEATS is just the latest “test” from Uber — an opportunity for the company to maximize potential revenue from its fleet of vehicles, while also providing an additional income stream for its drivers. While previous offshoots here in Chicago have been limited to one-time-only kitten & ice cream offers, Uber has tested same-day retail delivery in NYC (under the codename “UberRUSH”); and, according to an article on TechCrunch today, the company is planning an extended merchant delivery program under a partnership with the Spring app.
In the past, Uber has tested a household goods delivery (“UberEssentials”), which was shuttered, and has investments in a fresh-food service under the name “UberFresh”.
Interestingly enough, both UberEssentials & UberFresh offer a similar service to that of Instacart (review here) and other new(er) grocery delivery apps. Uber does have two major advantages over start-ups like Instacart: an established userbase & a shitload of drivers on the road. Perhaps a partnership will eventually make sense for one or both of these companies (though, that’s pure speculation on my part).
Uber users in Chicago can check out this week’s UberEATS menu or sign up for email updates on the company’s site (note: a restaurant in CO owns “ubereats.com”, so the delivery company’s URL is ubereats.co). UberEATS delivery is currently limited to River North & Loop locations, and the service is offered weekdays between 11-2.