Well, it had a good run. Oh wait — no it didn’t. Only one month after launching the standalone UberEats app in New York City, Uber has decided to shut the “instant” option down so that it can “narrow its focus.”
“In order to bring you the most exciting selection, the highest quality food, and the fastest delivery time, we’ve decided to narrow our focus,” said the company in an email to users. “Starting today, 4/18, w’ll no longer be offering a daily Instant Delivery lunch menu.”
The Instant Delivery service from UberEats basically consisted of a menu with preselected items rotating from local restaurants. Uber promised to deliver items from this menu in only 10 minutes. The service was aimed at the standard busy worker who might only have 30 minutes as a lunch break.
To deliver food on time, instead of picking food up from the restaurant each time something was ordered, Uber would bring inventory to a holding facility in Midtown Manhattan. Then, when something was ordered, it was dropped off at the curb, not at the customer’s door.
Of course, it’s not really known how much a service like this cost Uber, however if the company is shutting it down so quickly it can’t have been overly profitable. It is known that Uber didn’t purchase the food each day and then resell it, but rather restaurants determined the price and how much they wanted to sell each day.
If you’re an UberEats fan who lives outside of New York City, fear not! It does not seem as though the Instant Delivery service will be phased out anywhere else. Not yet, at least.
Uber has been experimenting with a number of different services for food delivery. It’s not all that surprising to see one of these experiments shut down — the real question is whether or not the rest of Uber’s offerings will hold up.