With a dramatic website launch and video flourish featuring chefs from Craftsman and Wolves and Uno Dos Tacos (not pictured: fat checks), Uber announced its entry into SF' s crowded food space, just as we've been anticipating. But will the highly (perhaps over) valued company succeed in eating their lunch?
Maybe, but a more interesting question would seem to be: Why does Uber want to do this? Well, they've already started in six cities, with the Wall Street Journal noting that you can even get items like toothpaste in New York. Oh, and also interesting: All the kinds of food you can get delivered from Uber here. (See below.)
In the past, CEO Travis Kalanick's fast-growing uber-startup has made changes explicitly "because it can" — that being an executive's stated reason for taking a higher commission out of its drivers' pockets. But more specifically, Lisa Gansky, an on-demand economy "expert" confirms our suspicion that Uber is pathologically something or other, telling the Chronicle that “Uber is pathologically innovative in trying new business models and partnership. They optimized this for something they are uniquely able to provide. They have so much driver saturation that doing limited-inventory fast delivery makes sense.”
It's also worth considering whether Uber really has a choice in this matter. Internal documents have recently revealed Uber's mounting losses, and if done right, this could be a cash cow. Also, it could potentially offer an argument for Uber in favor of its services being — as the company always insists — a technology connecting people and contractors, who are, by the way, totally not employees.
Indeed, if Uber contractors aren't just drivers, but delivery cyclists and pedestrians making, their "every contractor is different" and "we're tech, not transport" arguments might start to hold water.
Anyway, sorry for the hypothetical rant. Now, here's what you can get from UberEats — starting with lunch only.
The options are high-end, probably for simplicity at first, and also so people have positive experiences or something. Maybe think of these as the Uber Black car offerings to eventually be joined by the UberX-style pizza and burrito options you get from Seamless.
Menage A Trois
Shredded halal chicken with Swiss, pepper pack and cheddar cheeses, topped off with BBQ, honey mustard and honey on toasted bread.
Indian Summer Salads
Heirloom tomato and fresh coconut poriyal with paneer and cilantro avocado dressing, Spiced farro and summer squash salad with toasted almonds and mint chutney.
Chilled Chicken and Avocado Udon Bowl
Grilled chicken breast, udon noodles, avocado, yuzukosho (salted and fermented yuzu and peppers), hijiki seaweed, honshimiji mushrooms, carrots, edamame, sesame leaf, chrysanthemum, daikon sprouts with a soy and sesame oil dressing.
Pork Pita Sandwich
American Homestead pork shoulder with minted Greek yogurt, cherry tomatoes, pickled red onion, cucumber, and feta cheese. Wrapped in a fresh, warm pita bread.
Ensalada de Lechuga y Duraznos
Lettuce, stone fruit, avocado, pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, cotija cheese and a smoked jalapeño-lime vinaigrette.
MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE
Salted Caramel and Raspberry Jam Donut Duo
Two pillowy brioche doughnuts bathed in sugar and piped full of Mr. Holmes Salted Caramel and Raspberry Jam signature house made fillings.
Kale Salad with Crispy Quinoa
Darwin's famous kale and radicchio salad with aged balsamic, garlic olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon and crispy quinoa.
UNO DOS TACOS
House-marinated grilled flat steak, beans and salsa fresca, served in a flour tortilla.
Spicy Chicken Parm Sandwich
Parmesan crusted chicken topped with a subtly spicy marinara sauce, basil aioli, and lightly pickled vegetables in a toasted ciabatta roll.
Citron Chicken Salad
Roli Roti's famous shredded chicken, carrots and daikon julienne with cilantro and fresh lime juice.
CRAFTSMAN & WOLVES
CAW Cookie Collection
CAW's famous valrhona chocolate chip cookie, matcha snickerdoodle cookie, cashew curry cookie, and chocolate-marcona almond-caramel brownie.
Previously: Yep, Uber Is Getting In The Delivery Game, Big Time