UberEATS, the much-talked-about extension of the user-to-user driving service, has come finally to Philadelphia. It’s been a long wait. For months, talk that the service was coming was rampant, thanks to a job posting by Uber several months ago. Uber steadily denied the rumors, however. Now, as of 7 AM yesterday, you can order takeout from some of your favorite Philly eateries. Delivery takes just 30 minutes, and there’s (as of right now) no charge. If that doesn’t sound great, I don’t know what does!
The UberEATS app will be separate from the standard Uber app. If you already have the latter, you will need to download the new one. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, “more than 100 of Philadelphia’s restaurants will be available at launch, including Zavino, DanDan, Sassafras, Paesano’s Philly Style, Hawthorne’s Café and South Street Philly bagels.” Some more big news: Stephen Starr’s hugely-popular restaurants will, in staggered tiers, come to UberEATS. Staggering the restaurants’ release onto the app is a matter of “quality control” and ensuring that takeout diners have “the best experience.” This is a canny tactic, since critics of takeout services like UberEATS tend to argue that a Styrofoam carryout container can’t do a nice meal the same justice as dining in a restaurant.
The first four Starr restaurants on the app are Jones, Pod, Buddakan and El Vez. All these eateries ran experiments on packaging, a company representative told the Journal. “About 99%” of the normal menu items will be available for takeout. This excludes fragile dishes like the creme brulee, which are unlikely to hold up to the rigors of packaging and travel.
Current Uber drivers can opt-in to delivering for UberEATS as well. The criteria for drivers on the latter service won’t be as picky: they include older cars and two-door cars, both of which are prohibited from UberX eligibility.