Cab aggregators Uber has announced that it has started its food delivery service UberEATS in Mumbai and will soon be taken to five other Indian cities. It follows the food delivery business model, charging restaurants a service fee to use its platform, and uses third-party delivery.
The food delivery service from Uber was first launched in Los Angeles in 2014 and is currently functioning in 58 cities around the world including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo.
“Mumbai is home to a booming food industry with a vibrant food culture offering both global and local cuisines. The introduction of UberEATS in India, with Mumbai as the first city, is a major step in our global expansion and showcases our commitment to the region," Bhavik Rathod, Head of UberEATS India, said in a statement.
The company has also launched an analytics tool called Restaurant Manager for the eateries that provides the businesses with insights into service quality, customer satisfaction and sales among others.
Currently, UberEATS has enabled payments via Paytm (India's largest mobile wallet with 200 million users) only. It might open up cash-on-delivery options at a later time. The company had followed a similar trajectory with its ride-hailing service too. Uber will charge a delivery fee of Rs. 15 irrespective of the order value. This essentially means that Uber will earn a commission from restaurants, as well as a delivery fee from consumers.
Uber’s entry into food delivery in India comes at a time when home-grown food start-ups, barring a few, are cash starved and have put expansion on hold. Food delivery was one of the worst-affected segments following the funding slowdown since mid-2015, forcing the likes of Spoonjoy, Dazo, Eatlo and Tinyowl to shut shop. It stands to face competition from domestic players like Swiggy, Zomato (one of India's 10 unicorns) as well as global rival Foodpanda, which has had a tough time catering to the diverse Indian palate.
But for now, EAT on Mumbai!