Ride hailing app Uber’s food delivery division UberEats (same company, different app) is on its way to Montreal, the company has officially announced. That will make Montreal the fourth Canadian city to have the service, after Toronto (its first location), Edmonton, and Ottawa.
But when? Apparently not imminently: Uber hasn’t set out a clear timeline for the launch (although Eater has reached out to ask). The fact that they are currently hiring a general manager and marketing manager for the Montreal edition should make it clear that this is one to put on the calendar for the more distant future.
So is UberEats a better delivery service than what’s already on the market? Not necessarily, but its features are different. The big one is that it has a wider range — presuming it operates the same way as in numerous other cities, food from any restaurant on UberEats will be delivered to anywhere within UberEats boundaries. That means if you live in NDG, you could order from a restaurant in Rosemont, provided it’s on the app (although with teleportation not being a viable transportation method, it will obviously take longer).
Identical to Uber, UberEats drivers move anywhere in the city, hence why the delivery range is wide. At Just Eat, for comparison, each restaurant is responsible for its own delivery, meaning the range will vary. Foodora’s ranges vary depending on where you live (the whole “bike delivery” thing probably doesn’t help).
UberEats hasn’t selected its Montreal restaurants yet but going off past cities, Uber has preferred to offer what could pretentiously be called a more “curated” set of delivery options. That means while finding good food on the app will be easy, if you’re on the market for a dirty poutine it might not be the top option. It also has restricted hours in other cities, often operating only from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Again, Just Eat pretty much allows any restaurant to be on its site (and delivery hours are really up to the restaurant), and while Foodora was initially choosy, they now deliver Thai Express so it seems like anything goes there.
UberEats pulls one money-grabbing strategy over from its flagship transportation operation: it also has surge pricing, which is euphemistically called “a fee for busy areas”.
The promotional video below was sent out along with the announcement, invoking plenty of buzzwords like “life hack” and “New York”. It’s in English only, which seems a little tone-deaf: you can add “French translation” to their to-do list before they launch in Montreal.