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Uber kills instant food delivery service in NYC

by Todd Haselton | April 19, 2016April 19, 2016 7:30 am PST

The war against GrubHub Seamless might be harder than Uber thought. The on-demand car service company recently launched UberEats in New York City and began offering customers an “instant” option that delivers pre-made food to their curb within 10 minutes. That didn’t seem to work very well, as instant delivery is no longer being offered in New York City.

“In order to bring you the most exciting selection, the highest quality food, and the fastest delivery time, we’ve decided to narrow our focus,” Uber said in a letter to customers. “Starting today, 4/18, we’ll no longer be offering a daily Instant Delivery lunch menu.”

Uber didn’t exactly make it clear what aspect of the service wasn’t working. Were folks not interested in the pre-made meals? Was the selection too slim? Were there not enough drivers willing to meet demand? Was there demand at all? Quartz suggests there may have been several reasons for its failure.

“Instead of dispatching bike couriers to restaurants, Uber had its inventory for the instant menu brought to a central holding facility in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood every morning,” the news outlet said, adding that customers had to come get their food at the curb, instead of receiving it at their front doors.

That’s a big deal, especially for businesses in Midtown where the appeal of delivery is having it brought up to your office. Additionally, we can’t imagine the food that was prepared in the morning and delivered out of a warehouse tasted as fresh as choices available without the “instant” option.

Instant delivery remains an option in markets outside of New York City.

BI Quartz

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...