Starting off with Mumbai, Uber has revealed plans to make the service available in six other cities by the end of the year. UberEATS has partnered with 200 restaurants in the city including The Bohri Kitchen, Nom Nom, The Bombay Canteen, The Good Wife, Fresh Menu, Le 15, Coffee By Di Bella, Krispy Kreme, Chillies, among others.
“The introduction of UberEATS in India is a major step in our global expansion strategy and showcases our commitment to the market. The app brings together the perfect pairing of innovative technology and delivery network with our restaurant partners at the tap of a button,” said Bhavik Rathod, Head of UberEATS, India.
Started in 2014 as a small delivery pilot in Los Angeles, UberEATS now serves about 78 cities around the world. For its Indian operations, Uber does not wish to bundle this new service in the ride-hailing app itself, but release a fresh app for the food delivery service.
How does UberEATS work?
The app detects the user’s location, and recommends nearby food outlets and popular local restaurants that are open to take an order. Users can also view food photos as well as search for their favorite restaurant on the app as well as check on the approximate delivery time. There is no minimum order size, but a delivery fee of Rs 15 will be levied on every order. After the payment has been made, users can also track their order on the run.
What’s interesting is that the app leverages machine learning to customize taste preferences, provide tailored recommendations for restaurants and dishes, as well as manage the order by even giving a provision to schedule an order. So you can book anytime between up to an hour before the delivery window to a week in advance. Delivery locations can be customized too, including hospitals, parks and office buildings.
Uber’s arch rival in the country, Ola had also tried to venture into the foodtech sector in 2015 with Ola Café. But failing to generate enough traction for the service, it shut operations soon enough. Now with Google too entering the vertical with Areo, the Indian foodtech market is an open battleground for foreign and domestic players. What remains to be seen if the ‘deep-pocketed’ Uber is up to make yet another commitment in India.