Uber launches new food delivery app

The food delivery market just got more crowded with the launch Tuesday morning of a new on-demand meal app by Uber.

UberEats, now available in San Francisco and four other cities, lets users order meals from local restaurants and have them delivered to their door. It's the first time Uber has launched a new that operates separately from its well-known car-hailing service, and the shift in business strategy highlights Uber's commitment to the growing delivery industry. It also means increased competition for the multitudes of other food delivery apps that have becomes popular, such as GrubHub and DoorDash.

"We are excited to launch the UberEats app, which leverages our logistics network and technology to bring food from San Francisco's best restaurants to you, whether you're at home, in the office, or even relaxing in Dolores Park," Susan Alban, UberEverything's San Francisco general manager, wrote in a statement.

UberEats has been available on a limited basis in San Francisco since last summer, when users could access the service through a tab embedded in Uber's ride-hailing app. The original service offered lunchtime delivery only, and users had to choose from a handful of meal options pre-selected by Uber. The new app, represented by a fork icon, allows to order food from more than 100 San Francisco restaurants between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Uber is waiving the fee for now, but it eventually will be $5.

In a blog post Tuesday, Uber wrote that its first foray into UberEats taught the team that "requesting a ride and ordering a meal are two very different experiences," - and that brought about the creation of a brand-new app.

The app also is live in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Toronto.

"In the same way Uber makes it easy to get from A to B, UberEats makes it easy to get food from the best in your city," Jason Droege, head of UberEverything, wrote in a statement. "Because an Uber driver is never more than a few minutes away, as soon as the 's ready it's on its way."

©2016 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
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