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Uber announces own food delivery service UberEATS in Singapore

SINGAPORE — After weeks of speculation, ride-hailing app Uber confirmed that it is launching its food delivery service UberEATS in Singapore,

Uber announces own food delivery service UberEATS in Singapore

UberEATS has a roster of more than 100 restaurants on the platform including Eight Treasures, Burnt Ends and Pluck. Photo: UberEATS

SINGAPORE — After weeks of speculation, ride-hailing app Uber confirmed that it is launching its food delivery service UberEATS in Singapore,

At a press conference held at its office on Tuesday (May 24), the company said Singapore is the first Asian country for UberEATS. It was chosen as the first Asian city because of its “fantastic food culture”, said Avram Rampersaud, head of UberEATS Singapore.

The service is already available in 14 other cities such as New York, Paris and Melbourne.

“What’s important to us is celebrating cities, and how we integrate our company with the cities — and what’s important here is food,” he said. “Singapore was also the first Asian city when we started here in 2013.”

He promised a “super simple experience” and food will be delivered to consumers under 35 minutes from the moment they tap their orders. UberEATS will use a mix of current Uber drivers as well as its own fleet of motorcycle riders. There is a flat S$3 delivery charge, which is currently waived for an indefinite period to let consumers have “a taste of UberEATS”.

Currently, it will only be available in the Central Business District, Tanjong Pagar, Orchard and River Valley, but plans are in the pipeline to expand to more areas.

The UberEATS app is already available on the App store and Google Play store. More than 100 restaurants are on the platform so far and UberEATS is in talks to add more to the platform.

Exclusive to Uber at the moment are restaurants such as Burnt Ends and Pluck, but restaurants across all price points will be available. Delivering hawker food is also not ruled out. “If people want hawker food, we’ll find a way to make it happen — we’re open to hawker stalls,” he said.

For Dave Pynt, head chef of Burnt Ends, a service like UberEATS means having another avenue to reach out to more customers. “What’s important as a restaurateur for a delivery service is how the food is going to end up ... Uber is a strong, trust-worthy and reliable brand.”

Burnt Ends will present a limited menu on UberEats: Mainly, “dishes that travel well”, including the restaurant’s signature Sanger (a sandwich meets burger) and butterhead lettuce salad. Pynt also said that should delivery demand get overwhelming, he is open to starting another business unit producing food simply meant for delivery.

UberEATS joins the competitive market of food delivery service here with players such as Foodpanda, which started in 2012; London-based start-up Deliveroo, which entered the market here last November; and the homegrown, which specialises in delivering dishes from hawker centres.

Rampersaud feels the market is “massive” enough to accommodate UberEats. “I don’t think we’re late to the game. Whatever business we get into, we ensure we have the right product, right engineering and right support to see it through,” he said.

He added that time and effort have been spent to get it right so the service can be rolled out in other cities in Asia.

“All the major cities are on the table,” he said.

UberEATS is available from Wednesday. Delivery is available from 11am to 10pm daily.

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