Uber is a transportation app that allows private citizens to use their own vehicles to pick up riders and take them to their destinations. Payments are made electronically through the app.
Uber Eats allows delivery partners (drivers) to use their cars to pick up food from participating restaurants and deliver it to customers. Customers can use the app or Uber Eats site to find the food they want, order and track the delivery status — from the prep work at the restaurant on through to the delivery.
How does ordering through Uber Eats work?
To order food or drinks from a restaurant through Uber Eats you’ll have to:
- Download the Uber Eats app or go to the Uber Eats website.
- You can use the same login as your existing Uber account, or create a new one.
- The app will automatically show you available restaurants in your area, or you can search by the city of your choice, by a certain restaurant name or even by a type of cuisine you are in the mood for.
- Once you find what you want to purchase, simply add it to your cart.
- When you are ready to check out, provide an address for delivery, and view the final price of the order (including taxes and fees) and the estimated delivery time.
The customer’s on-file credit card is charged for the order, meaning there never has to be any sort of financial transaction between the driver and customer.
Once the order has been placed, the app turns into a tracking system for the customer. It will show their order being accepted and prepped by the restaurant. Then an Uber Eats delivery partner – either in a car, on a bike or on a scooter – will accept the delivery. The app will then transition to a map application tracking the delivery partner en route to the customer’s location.
Once the driver has arrived, simply accept the food and enjoy it.
How does Uber Eats work for drivers?
If you are already an Uber driver partner, you can go into your app and activate Uber Eats to begin receiving delivery requests. If you are seeking to deliver with Uber, you must meet all of the following qualifications first.
- Have a full Class license.
- Proof of eligibility to work (like a Canadian passport or permanent residence).
- Have a 2-door or 4-door car that is a 20 year old model or newer.
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Proof of vehicle registration and insurance.
- Pass a background screening.
Depending on your location, you may also have the option to deliver via bike or scooter. If you are planning to deliver food via bicycle or on foot, you must meet the age of the majority in your province and have a valid ID. If you are planning to deliver food via scooter, you’ll likely be required to provide your own motorized scooter and scooter insurance.
Uber Eats delivery partners earnings are based off of:
- A flat fee for picking up the food at the restaurant.
- A per kilometre rate and time driven rate for the trip from the restaurant to the customer’s address.
- A flat fee for dropping off the food with the customer.
Uber Eats customers are allowed to tip drivers inside the app but it is not a requirement.
Uber Eats vs. other food delivery services
Canadians apparently love food delivery apps – in 2019 alone we spent close to $1.5 billion ordering food with delivery apps. In most cities, Uber Eats has to share that marketplace with other giants in the takeout food delivery businesses, like Skip the Dishes and DoorDash.
The Hamilton Spectator reported on a 2019 study showing that, Uber Eats’ biggest competitor is the Manitoba-based company, Skip the Dishes. Uber Eats has the second highest satisfaction rating compared to other similar food delivery apps, at 86%, which came in second to Skip the Dishes’ rating of 89%. Market share tells a similar story, where Uber Eats comes in second with 14% of market share compared to Skip the Dishes’ 29%.
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History of Uber Eats
Uber rolled out its first food delivery service, then called UberFRESH, in Santa Monica, California, in August of 2014. After expanding to several major cities in the US, UberFRESH was reborn as Uber Eats in April 2015. It became a standalone app in December of 2015 and launched in Toronto, Canada the same day. Today, Uber Eats is available in over 25 cities across the country and services thousands of restaurants.
Uber Eats future
Uber Eats appears to be gearing up for several new initiatives beyond restaurant delivery. In essence, the company hopes to become a one-stop-shop for anything related to food delivery. With the recent launch of Uber Grocery in Toronto and Montreal, Uber has now begun its foray into grocery delivery. The company also recently launched the Eats Pass – a monthly subscription that costs $9.99/month for free delivery and 5% off every Uber Eats order over $15.
Canadian cities where Uber Eats is available
- Sault Ste. Marie