UberEATS is a spinoff of Uber’s popular person-to-person transportation system.
Uber allows private citizens to use their own vehicles as taxis to pick up customers and take them to their destinations. Using an app, customers and drivers connect digitally. Payments are made electronically through the app.
UberEATS allows drivers to use their cars to pick up food from participating restaurants and deliver it to customers. Customers can use the app or UberEATS’ website to find the food items they want, order them and track the order status from the prep work at the restaurant on through to the delivery.
History of UberEATS
Uber rolled out its first food delivery service, then called UberFRESH, in Santa Monica, California, in August of 2014. It expanded to Los Angeles in December of 2014, but the initial offering was limited to just two neighborhoods – Beverly Hills/West Hollywood and Westside Los Angeles. After expanding to several major cities, UberFRESH was reborn as UberEATS in April 2015. It became a standalone app in December of 2015 and launched in Toronto the same day. In the spring of 2016, the app increased its hours to all day in Los Angeles and two weeks later did the same in Chicago, Houston and San Francisco.
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How does UberEATS work for customers?
UberEATS customers can either log in through their existing Uber accounts or create a new one. They then search by the city of their choice, by a certain restaurant name or even by a type of cuisine they are interested in purchasing.
Once they find what they want to purchase, they simply add it to their cart. When they are ready to check out, they’ll see their own address, the final price of the order (including a booking fee) as well as an 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 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 UberEATS driver – either in a car, on a bike or on a scooter – will accept the delivery. The app will then transition to a map application showing the driver en route on the map to the customer’s location.
Once the driver has arrived, it’s a simple matter of accepting the food from and enjoying it.
How does UberEATS work for drivers?
If you are already an UberX driver, you can go into your app and activate UberEATS to begin receiving delivery requests. If you are seeking to join the Uber team, you must meet all four of the following qualifications first.
- Have at least one year of driving experience
- Have a 2-door or 4-door car that is a 1997 model or newer.
- Be at least 19 years old.
- Have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance.
- Be able to lift 30 pounds.
If you are planning to deliver food via bicycle, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid state ID. If you are planning to deliver food via scooter, you must be at least 19 years old, have a motorized scooter and scooter insurance.
UberEATS pays food delivery people in three components.
- A flat fee for picking up the food at the restaurant
- A per mile rate for the trip from the restaurant to the customer’s address
- A flat fee for dropping off the food with the customer.
UberEATS customers are allowed to tip drivers inside the app but it is not a requirement. UberEATS takes 25% of the total bill.
UberEATS vs. other food delivery services
In most cities, UberEATS came into the marketplace well after other takeout food delivery businesses such as GrubHub and DoorDash. Economic analyst company Second Measure broke down the market share of major delivery services for August 2017. Its data revealed UberEATS leading the market in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Perhaps more impressive than that trifecta are the cities where UberEATS has pushed its way into contention against a formerly dominant competitor.
In Columbus, Ohio, UberEATs holds a 16.8% market share, third behind GrubHub (27.6%) and DoorDash (25%). In Denver, it is within striking distance of taking over second place from DoorDash. DoorDash is currently at 14.2%, UberEATS at 13.7%. In Fort Worth, Texas, it is at 38.2% to DoorDash’s 46.2% The most eye-opening figure for UberEATS might be Seattle, home of Amazon Restaurants. The cross-platform giant’s service is the market leader at 21%, with UberEATS a close second at 20%.
UberEATs has been on a push in the second half of 2017 to expand its influence to 30 college towns in the US – including Ann Arbor, Michigan, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Austin, Texas and so on. With the propensity of college students living on campus or within a few miles of it, takeout/delivery restaurants do a lot of business in a small radius. This allows UberEATs drivers to deliver lots of orders quickly, leading to more money for themselves and Uber and more satisfied customers as well.