News & Analysis

Uber launches on-demand restaurant delivery service UberEATS in Melbourne

- April 19, 2016 2 MIN READ

The Victorian Government may be trailing behind a number of other states in not having regulated ridesharing services such as UberX, but that hasn’t stopped the company from launching its food delivery service UberEATS in Melbourne today. Melbourne is the third city outside North America to get the service.

Launching with 80 partner restaurants on board, UberEATS will be free for a limited time through a standalone app, available from 11am to 10pm seven days a week around the inner suburbs of Melbourne.

Simon Rossi, general manager of UberEATS Australia, said, “Melbourne is the ultimate foodie city, and UberEATS enables us to help more people access the city’s great food from top restaurants in their suburb and beyond. Our goal is to offer people what they want to eat, when they want to eat, in the quickest time possible.”

One of the restaurants on board is Gazi, owned by Masterchef judge George Calombaris, who said partnering with UberEATS will make the restaurant accessible to more people.

“UberEATS is what we’ve always wanted from a delivery service; now we can deliver our great food, in a seamless way, directly to people’s door,” Calombaris said.

Gazi joins restaurants including Super Normal, Pidapipo, and Jimmy Grants on the platform, with UberEATS promising to help these restaurants reach new networks of potential customers. These restaurants sit towards the premium end of the scale – the market competitor service Deliveroo has been targeting since its Australian launch last November.

First announced in February, the launch of UberEATS in fact comes a week after Deliveroo’s expansion into Brisbane. The service reports having 600 restaurants active across Sydney and Melbourne, with 50 signing on as partners in Brisbane.

Of course, UberEATS and Deliveroo are far from the only players on the market. Foodora is another startup working in the on-demand food delivery space, while Menulog, a service originally working to help restaurants take and process takeaway orders, also recently partnered with on-demand courier startup Zoom2u to help restaurants without their own delivery drivers launch a delivery service.

The partnership has seen drivers made available to restaurants in Sydney. Menulog reports that it has more than 5,500 restaurants on its app, offering over 130 different cuisines and more than 16,000 special offers at any given time.

Yet another offering in the space is Drive Yello, an Australian startup that allows restaurants to book drivers for delivery shifts.

Though Australia may be a nation of foodies, it will be interesting to see just how much more this market can continue to grow and which services stick with both restaurants and consumers.

The Melbourne launch of UberEATS comes on the same day the company sent a letter to customers in New York City explaining it would be shutting down its instant delivery service, through which it offered two pre-fixed dishes from a restaurant. With these able to be prepared in bulk by restaurants for drivers, the service promised delivery in under 10 minutes. It will continue to offer its standard food delivery service.

Image: GM, Uber Australia & New Zealand, David Rohrsheim. Source: Sydney.org