For the first time, Uber is expanding outside of its cab-hailing app. UberEATS – launched in 2014 and previously relegated to tab within the standard Uber app – now gets its own independent piece of software as the company looks to bring the fight to services like Seamless and Grubhub.
It’s only available in Toronto to start. According to Wired, that’s because the in-app version of the service was already quite popular in the area. Torontonians now have a central app just for food delivery if they don’t care about hailing a cab, removing unnecessary clutter.
To simplify the app, UberEATS has a feature called ‘Instant Delivery’ which limits the food selection to just five items total from all the restaurants in your area (that’s five items total, not per restaurant). Those dishes are meant to arrive in under ten minutes. You can still peruse through full menus if you have more time though, and there’s a section for popular items to speed up the process.
That said, it’s entering a much more crowded field than it did when it came into the the taxi business. Whereas traditional cab companies have had virtually no chance to catch up to the fresh wave of technology brought on by ridesharing apps, food delivery services have been innovating in the field for quite some time now.
It’s also just another sign that Uber sees itself as more of a technology company than a cab company though(a claim that’s traditionally been questionable). It’s amassed a ton of data and experience over the years, as well as many dedicated drivers, which could give it an edge over the established players.
No word on when the service will arrive in other regions – Uber wants to see how the trial in Toronto plays out first – but we imagine it’s only a matter of time.