Uber Eats is a spinoff of Uber’s popular person-to-person transportation app.
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 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 Uber Eats
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 Uber Eats 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 ordering through Uber Eats work?
- To order from a restaurant through Uber Eats, first download the Uber Eats app.
- 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 a booking fee) 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 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 showing the delivery partner en route on the map 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 at least one year of licensed driving experience
- Have a 2-door or 4-door car that is a 1998 model or newer.
- Be at least 19 years old.
- Have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance.
- 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, 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.
Uber Eats delivery partners earnings are based off of:
- A flat fee for picking up the food at the restaurant.
- A per mile 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
In most cities, Uber Eats 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 meal delivery services for February 2018. Its data revealed Uber Eats is the fastest growing company among meal delivery services and is now larger in 15 major US cities compared to GrubHub. Perhaps more impressive than that are the two cities, El Paso, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, where Uber Eats has pushed its way into contention against GrubHub, the formerly dominant competitor just six months ago.
From August 2017 to February 2018, Uber Eats doubled its sales, with its gains being 88% of GrubHub’s. However, that’s not to say that it doesn’t have a ways to go before it catches up to GrubHub’s hold over the market. In February, GrubHub was responsible for over half of all US sales for meal delivery services, while Uber Eats only captured one-fifth of US sales.
When it comes to high-frequency customers, GrubHub takes the cake as well, with 17% of its customers ordering food at least once a week in the first 10 weeks of this year. Over 2% of its customers ordered food at least three times a week or more, compared to only 1% of Uber Eats’ customers.
Still, Uber Eats is the most successful service when it comes to retaining customers: From August 2017 to February 2018, on average 41% of Uber Eats’ customers used the service again six months after their first order, while only 17% of GrubHub’s customers did the same.
Uber Eats future
Uber Eats has been on a push to expand its influence in up to 100 new cities, including lots of college towns like Ann Arbor and Austin. 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 Uber Eats delivery partners to deliver lots of orders quickly, earning more money for themselves and helping Uber Eats expand to new areas.