Is UberEats a Seamless Killer?

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Uber doesn't just want to help you catch a ride anymore. The company is gearing up to expand UberEats, a meal delivery service, across 10 American cities (as well as Paris, France). The idea is simple: Customers order food from their favorite local restaurants and have it delivered by an Uber driver. This will all be facilitated within a standalone UberEats app, due to land on iTunes and Google Play by the end of March. 

UberEats is expected to unroll over time to be available to hungry citizens of Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Austin. The service is already up and running in Toronto, Ontario, where consumers can order food between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. As the service expands around the United States, the delivery fee will vary between cities but is expected to be a flat rate in the neighborhood of $5 — part of that fee goes to Uber, part goes to the driver, and the cost of food goes to the restaurant.

But how will Uber fare against competitors who already dominate the food delivery space? Companies like Postmates, Seamless, and GrubHub have been facilitating rapid food delivery for some time. Sunil Paul, co-founder and chief executive of Uber competitor Sidecar, writes that "Uber is willing to win at any cost and they have practically limitless capital to do it." The company operates in 375 cities around the world and was most recently valued at $62.5 billion. Because Uber already generates so much revenue on its own, it can keep its UberEats prices competitive. There's not even a need to tip the driver — the FAQ reads: "The best way to thank your driver is with a 5-star rating." Sure, it's too soon to tell if it'll replace other apps, but having another way to get food when there's a blizzard or you just don't want to cook is always good news.