Uber Technologies is preparing to launch its meal delivery service, UberEats, to a number of cities on a much wider scale, a decision that will see how well the company can leverage its drivers for goods delivery.
Ten cities have been announced for the release, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and New York. Customers in those cities will be able to use the dedicated UberEats menu to order from a number of different food options from local restaurants, and their food will then be delivered by Uber drivers.
The move is interesting considering the fact that Sidecar, one of Uber's early competitors, explored using a similar service as long as a year before eventually shutting down and eventually selling its assets to General Motors, a sale that was recently announced.
A service similar to UberEats was first launched last year as a lunchtime-only service in around a dozen cities and used Uber's network of millions of drivers to deliver goods. While the company is best known for delivering people to their destination, it has been trying out being a part of logistics, delivering everything from suits to toiletries in Washington, D.C.
It is expected that the UberEats service will launch in the Apple App Store and Google Play by the end of March and will be the company's first attempt at launching a new app since it first released its original Uber app.
UberEats has also been available in Toronto for around a month now, and Uber has been testing an expanded meal service with over 100 local restaurants. In most of the cities where UberEats is launching, the lunchtime service already exists, and UberEats will simply serve as an expansion of that service.
Uber will be employing teams of people dedicated to running UberEats in each city and will draw from the knowledge it has earned through its Toronto testing.