The food distribution launch will see the taxi hire company go head-to-head with meal delivery services such as Deliveroo and Just Eat. The new service was designed to provide an additional route to market for food and drink products, which could benefit food manufacturers.
The UberEats app allows Londoners to order from more than 150 top restaurants, including The Good Life Eatery, Hotbox, Chilango, Pho, Comptoir Libanais and Snog. It also allows the customer to view their delivery in real-time and pay on account.
‘Opportunity for suppliers and manufacturers’
Toby Pickard, senior retail analyst for multichannel at IGD, the food and grocery research company, said: “Any new market entrant presents an opportunity for suppliers and manufacturers to engage with a different group of consumers.
“Uber has announced the launch of its food delivery service UberEats into the UK market. The taxi hiring company’s standalone food service app is already available in 17 major cities, across five countries.
“This launch was to be expected, given the increasing number of delivery solution providers within the market.
“There’s clearly a demand for highly convenient services of this nature, with 27% of shoppers telling us that they are looking to ‘make life easier’ in the year ahead, according to research conducted by IGD ShopperVista.
“Shoppers also seem to be feeling more relaxed about their spending, with those intending to cut back on eating out this year going down to just 40%, from 46% in 2014.”
‘Recent launch of Amazon Fresh’
Pickard added: “However, with the recent launch of Amazon Fresh in 69 London postcodes and a number of established players already in this market, the proposition from UberEats will need to be compelling in order to convert shoppers.”
The service would initially be available in central London from 11am to 11pm, seven days a week.
London restaurants appeared to welcome the new service because it offered the potential to boost sales.
Eric Partaker, co-founder, of Mexican restaurant chain Chilango, said: “The really exciting thing is to be able to break free from the constraints of our restaurants, so we can reach new people, create more raving fans, and further grow our business.”
Libby Andrews, head of marketing, at Vietnamese restaurant group Pho, said: “Uber has nearly 2M users in London alone so we’re excited to be partnering with them for UberEats. Their launch will benefit customers who want to enjoy our food at home or at their office by pressing a few buttons on their phone. We’re excited to see the impact UberEats will have on our business.”
The UberEats service was launched in the London area on Thursday June 16.