Uber is set to launch a standalone app at the end of March for its UberEats service, currently available in some markets via its core app, for 10 US cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
UberEats initially offered lunchtime only food delivery service, but this is now being extended. The app has already been available for over a month in Toronto between 10am to 10pm, where Uber partnered with 100 restaurants.
The delivery fee will vary depending on cities but will be around $5. The company will also collect a fee from restaurants for every order. Uber will still offer its lunchtime service for deliveries under 10 minutes, renaming it Instant Delivery.
“In recent years, Uber has had mixed results when it tried its hand at local logistics, transporting everything from designer suits in New York to toothpaste in Washington, DC,” the WSJ report said.
Startups in the US that offer similar services and could be competition for Uber include Postmates and DoorDash.
Sidecar Technologies, also a ride-hailing app maker, tried its hand at food and packages delivery during the past year but has shut down and sold its assets to General Motors.
In a blog post, its co-foUnder and CEO Sunil Paul blamed Uber, saying “we were unable to compete against Uber, a company that raised more capital than any other in history and is infamous for its anti-competitive behaviour.”
“The legacy of Sidecar is that we out-innovated Uber but still failed to win the market… Uber is willing to win at any cost and they have practically limitless capital to do it,” he added.
Last week, Uber launched a feature for developers called Uber Trip Experiences, which it said will connect passengers “with their favourite apps at the start of a trip when they may have some time to spare”.