Updated with Uber’s clarification 2/19 2:24 AM PST
Uber is stepping into the international meal delivery wars (yes, that’s a real thing) with the start of UberEATS in Barcelona.
As the ride-sharing company makes its first foray into meal deliveries outside the U.S., it also remains in search of a name for the service that will stick.
Uber has UberRUSH making deliveries of various kinds of New York. Of course, in Europe, anyone who uses “eating” and “rush” in the same sentence would probably be deported.
Uber had previously launched meal deliveries under the name “UberFRESH” in Los Angeles. Since that link leads to a page that says “404,” we’re guessing that service didn’t do so well. (UPDATE: Uber contacted us to let us know that its link in the Barcelona blog post was wrong. The real link is here, and UberFRESH is alive and kicking.)
Thus is born UberEATS.
“Uber is always looking for ways to use technology to get people connected to their world as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the service.
Uber is partnering with local food guide Plateselector to identify local restaurant partners in the city. Users can open their Uber app in Barcelona and select from a menu of choices from a handful of local restaurants that will be delivered in under 10 minutes.
While the choice of Barcelona may seem random, it’s worth noting that the city will host the Mobile World Congress in two weeks. One of the globe’s largest mobile conferences, it will draw more than 30,000 attendees to the city who will now be able to try Uber’s nascent food delivery service.
Any time Uber sets its sights on a market, it poses a potential threat due to the fact that the company has raised a gazillion dollars in financing. However, Uber is also coming into a crowded market where it will eventually face off against well-financed rivals such as Berlin-based Delivery Hero, GrubHub in the U.S., and the U.K.’s Just-Eat.
In addition, Rocket Internet of Germany has been pumping money into meal-delivery services, expanding the footprint of its Asian-focused Foodpanda and acquiring related meal services such as La Nevera Roja of Spain.