Last month rideshare overlord Uber chose Toronto as the test market for a more ambitious version of UberEats, a food delivery service launched as UberFresh in the summer of 2014. The original service was integrated into the Uber app, and offered on-demand lunch delivery in 15 minutes or less in a dozen U.S. urban markets. The expanded Toronto service provides delivery from more than 100 restaurants and is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — moreover, customers use the service with a standalone iOS app. Uber's bid to compete with U.S. food delivery services like Seamless and Postmates has since become much more transparent. The company just announced that it intends to roll out the full UberEats service in ten new cities in the weeks to come.
Montreal will not be one of them, however. Nor will any other cities in Canada. “We're currently focused on growing and improving the UberEATS business in Toronto, with no plans to expand to other Canadian cities at this time,“ said a representative for the company. Instead, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Austin were chosen as the next UberEats test markets.
The new service will charge a delivery fee of roughly US$5 per order, and part of that will go to drivers. It seems like a slam dunk for Uber, but challenges do exist. The app-based food delivery market has become more and more congested, and with Amazon now part of the mix, UberEats faces stiff competition. Still, the company is in it to win it. Last fall UberRush, Uber's courier network, partnered with ChowNow, the U.S.-based order and payment platform for restaurants, to offer on-demand delivery in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Montreal may not be a front of mind market for Uber's food delivery business now, but if all goes well, one has to assume the city will get some consideration down the road.