UberEats is a food delivery platform, that allows for users to order and receive food from their favorite local restaurants via private drivers. The service is a spin-off of Uber, which is a taxi service that offers private drivers for hire at the touch of a button.
UberEats, which launched in 2014, primarily served business lunch crowds in large metropolitan areas and offered a limited number of items from a select group of restaurants. The new and improved version launched at the end of 2015 and featured a greater number of restaurants, menu items, and delivery cars over wider area. Now, UberEats is available worldwide. They are in 29 major cities in North America, with its newest addition being Tampa Bay. They are also available in Amsterdam, London, and Paris in Europe, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Dubai, Singapore, and Tokyo in Asia, and Johannesburg in Africa.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, 75 restaurants in Tampa and the Bay area have already joined the party this summer and created a big stir in this major city. The service debuted first in Tampa, and spread through the Bay area after a few weeks. The currently available partnering restaurants are Bella’s Italian Cafe, Miguel’s, Ciccio Water, Mini Doughnut Factory, Alessi Bakery, Piquant Epicure and Cuisine, Carmel Kitchen, Acropolis Taverna, and La Teresita among many other. The delivery areas include Downtown and South Tampa, Davis Islands, East Tampa, Palmetto Beach, North Tampa, Old Seminole Heights, Drew Park, Carrollwood, and the area surrounding the University of South Florida; there is also expansions being planned.
With this Tampa Bay launch, the company was able to use the Uber platform independent of the taxi service for the first time in the Hillsborough county. Currently, both Uber and Lyft are illegal in the county because their ongoing battle with the Public Transportation Commission. However, drivers are not liable to the same laws when transporting food.
The service works through the UberEats app, which connects its customers to a broad range of local restaurants and food. Therefore, users must download the free app onto their smartphone, then search for their restaurant of choice. If the restaurant is open, then customers will have access to the menu, and can place their orders. The app then displays the total which is inclusive of the cost of the food and the flat delivery fee of $4.99. After paying through the user’s Uber account, the order’s preparation and delivery can be tracked on the app. Based on the UberEats website, the average delivery time is said to take approximately 35 minutes from start to finish. They are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for deliveries.
Although food delivery services are not new to the Bay, UberEats offers better benefits to both the customers and the restaurants. The current market leader, GrubHub, operates in more than 900 cities, alongside companies like DoorDash, FoodNow, Foodler, Deliveroo, and Doorstep Delivery which have carved out their niche too. However, UberEats offers a lower time estimate wait time than the other delivery services; for example, Doorstep Delivery has an estimated time range from 45 minutes to one hour, which is a minimum of ten minutes higher than that of UberEats. As for the restaurants, UberEats requires no further investment into attaining employees or infrastructure, and according to experts, the restaurants can realize an expected increase in their annual income by as much as 20%. Uber, also, has the advantages of a user- friendly app, large brand recognition, and an almost limitless supply of investment capital.
On the other hand, there is still a higher cost for a company to partner with UberEats, since companies like GrubHub and Seamless charge a partner restaurant between 13% – 24%, while UberEats charges 30%, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
When asked about their knowledge of UberEats, most Saint Leo students are familiar with Uber, the taxi service, but not the UberEats subsidiary.
“I know of Uber, but since the service is not offered in the Saint Leo area, I would not expect UberEats to be offered either. Therefore, I could see why I would not have heard of it before,” said Riche Deleveaux, a sophomore biology major.
Other students like Martina McKoy, a freshman marketing major, were aware of the service: “I know about UberEats. I used it all the time when I was back home, but it is not offered here.”
Saint Leo students are excited about the prospect of the company launching in this area.
“If UberEats would launch in this area, it would be great! It is hard to go off- campus to buy food, and the delivery options to the school are very limited, so UberEats would facilitate a wider selection,” said Andrina Pierre, a sophomore biology major.