Walk anywhere in central London and you're bound to pass a Deliveroo cyclist, puffing and panting as they shuttle an enormous backpack filled with restaurant food. The service has taken off in the capital, but its supremacy could now be questioned by a ride-hailing giant: Uber. The company is launching UberEats in the city today, marking its first location in the UK and its second in Europe, after Paris. By downloading the UbeEats app or using the companion website, you can choose a restaurant, make an order and track its progress, from food preparation to delivery.
Uber says over 150 restaurants have signed on for UberEats in London, including Hotbox, Chilango, Pho, Comptoir Libanais and Snog. For now, the service is limited to central London, although Uber says "this is just the beginning" and will be expanding further "in the coming weeks." The other limiting factor is time; UberEats will be available from 11am to 11pm, although the company has hinted that this could be extended in the future.
For the people of London, UberEats is just another option to keep in their back pocket when hunger strikes. For existing food delivery companies, however, such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Hungryhouse, it's a warning shot and a fresh reminder of just how lucrative the takeout market is.