When the Spanish authorities slapped a ban on ride-hailing service Uber in December, the company clearly wasn’t ready to say adios to the European nation.
Rather than abandon all hope of ever relaunching its passenger-carrying service there, the company has been busy looking at ways to maintain a presence in the country, enabling it to push its brand in the process.
The solution, it seems, is UberEATS, a new service that carries not people to places but meals to people. Launching in Barcelona, Uber has teamed up with a selection of highly rated local restaurants to offer a service where anyone with a rumbling stomach can get it filled within just 10 minutes of placing an order via the UberEATS section of the main Uber app.
You can even follow your meal’s journey to its destination in real-time, a neat feature though admittedly one that could send your salivary glands into an unmanageable frenzy.
“In the same time it takes you to walk up Las Ramblas, you can open up your Uber app, choose your meal and get it delivered to an address of your choice,” the company said in a blog post announcing the service.
Many of the meals will cost around €10 ($11.30), which sounds reasonable enough, though the €2.50 ($2.80) delivery charge pushes the final price up a little.
The UberEATS launch isn’t the first time the San Francisco company has steered away from its better known passenger-based service. Besides its occasional publicity-grabbing stunts, the company is also operating an on-demand courier service in New York City, while meal delivery is already on the menu for Uber users in Los Angeles, though there the service goes by the name UberFRESH.