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Uber’s cautious UberEATS expansion continues with launch in home city

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If your next Uber ride in San Francisco comes with the aroma of a recently cooked meal, that’s probably because your driver has just been out delivering for UberEATS.

Uber rolled out its meal-delivery service in its home city this week, offering hungry customers the chance to order from curated menus linked to popular dining spots for a $3 delivery fee, though that’s being waived for the first month. The meals themselves cost around $8 to $12.

With lots of startups battling it out in San Francisco’s packed meal-delivery market, delivery time is key, with Uber promising its hungry customers a wait of no more than 10 minutes. Keep in mind, however, that food drop-off is currently only curbside, so you’ll have to step outside your office or home to collect your order. You shouldn’t have to hang around though, as you can track your driver’s progress via the Uber app.

For now, the San Francisco service is only offered for customers in the Financial District and neighboring South of Market between 11am and to 2pm on weekdays, though this could change depending on demand.

The company better known for delivering people to destinations rather than food launched UberEATS last year (as UberFRESH), and now operates the service in five U.S. cities – San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, New York and L.A. – as well as Toronto, Canada and Barcelona, Spain.

One of the ideas behind UberEATS is to provide Uber drivers with earning opportunities at times of the day when riders may be thin on the ground. The service also means drivers remain downtown for when business picks up later in the day and more people start requesting rides, according to a source who discussed the service with the Wall Street Journal.

Customers can order via UberEATS by tapping on the plate-setting icon in the regular Uber app, choosing their meal, and placing the order. Food and delivery costs are automatically charged to your credit card just like with any Uber ride your take.

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