Business

If You’re In DC You Can Finally Uber Your Lunch

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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Uber’s aim to expand its business beyond ride-sharing was given a boost Tuesday as the company launched its food delivery service UberEATS in Washington D.C.

D.C. will join seven U.S. cities where Uber customers can use the ridesharing app to have some of their favorite lunchtime meals delivered in just 10 minutes.

The three outlets that will be serving up delivery via Uber are Bub and Pop’s, Buredo and Rasika with food costing between $8 and $15. But those looking for quick deliver lunch will find their range options from these restaurants limited to a single dish, and the menu will change daily.

Uber says limiting the number of options to just one will help with faster delivery times, with drivers aiming to deliver in just 10 minutes or less. The service will run from Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

UberEATS will cover customers in downtown D.C. from Dupont Circle to Capitol Hill but there are plans to expand coverage. Unfortunately customers will not have the convenience of having food delivered straight to their door but will have to collect it from the curb.

The option is prominently placed at the top of the app with rides and eats separated. Uber is looking to challenge established players in the food delivery business such as GrubHub. Groups of friends or co-workers can order multiple meals and split the costs using the “fare split” tool.

There is no monetary tipping with UberEATS but the company recommends satisfied customers to give their driver a five-star rating. While UberEATS is a small part of the food delivery market, Cowen & Co analyst Kevin Kopelman believes it has a big future in the industry.

“We note that new competitors, most notably Postmates, Yelp-owned Eat24, DoorDash, Munchery, Caviar and UberEATS, are on track to capture 50 percent of U.S. industry growth in fiscal 2015 vs. 25 percent in 2014, and (excluding Uber) have raised $500 million year to date,” Kopelman said in a research note.

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