Uber is used to controversy: the company has established its headline ride-sharing business in many areas of the world and in each one, it has upset local minicab and black cab drivers. We have seen a number of protests across the world at a local level as well as legislative changes being implemented or at least considered. The issue with Uber's ride sharing service is that it is not regulated as a minicab business, but those in the industry believe it should be. However, Uber's technology is capable of much, much more than ride-sharing. One of the other avenues that the business has been pursuing is delivery, in particular the delivery of food via the UberEATS service.
UberEATS is the name given to the service that allows customers to order meals from restaurants via an iOS or Android application. The services uses Uber's software to connect drivers, restaurants and customers: top local restaurants are connected to the UberEATS service and are able to deliver food to customers typically inside ten minutes. UberEATS does not offer the full menu to customers, instead there's typically a choice of two to four dishes available. Although over the two years since launch, Uber has experimented with pop-up kitchens. The service has its origins in the UberFRESH service, which was launched in the summer of 2014 to deliver lunch across a city. UberFRESH was renamed into UberEATS in April 2015 and has been expanded around the world, covering a number of cities around the world such as New York, Toronto, Singapore, Paris and Melbourne.
Uber is interested in expanding the UberEATS service into London and has been recruiting bicycle and scooter riders ahead of a British launch. It would appear that the company is reasonably far ahead in its launch plans, but it is playing catchup as there are a number of other companies offering a home delivery service, such as Deliveroo. In a statement, Uber announced: "UberEATS has been hugely popular in every city around the world we have launched it in, so the fact we are exploring the UK market shouldn't come as a surprise. We're always looking at what other services we can bring to the market here." At this juncture, there's no word on when Uber may be launching UberEATS in London, nor how quickly it could expand to other British cities.