Uber Drone Delivery Begins Testing This Summer

Your next takeout order could be delivered by drone in just a few months. Uber is performing drone delivery test trials in San Diego this summer, pending approval from the FAA.

The drone will not deliver food to customers’ doors during these preliminary trials. Instead, the drone will arrive at a designated safe landing zone where an Uber courier will retrieve your order and complete the delivery. Uber Elevate, the team handling drone delivery, intends to use this method to reduce the chance of noise pollution, collisions, devices and packages falling midair, and other safety concerns. Delivery boxes are crafted with carefully selected packaging materials that keep food warm throughout the trip.

Uber appears confident that the technology will become the new norm. According to data from previous company tests with McDonald’s, drones are three times as fast as other modes of transportation. Drones can travel 1.5 miles in seven minutes. With a driver or cyclist, such a trip takes about 21 minutes on average.

According to Eric Allison, Uber’s head of aerial projects, the company has invested in this technology in large part because of the growing popularity of Uber Eats. Allison believes drone delivery will give Uber Eats the edge over its competition, with “selection, quality, and efficiency” drastically improving thanks to the advent of drones. Uber analysts predict that within the next ten years, fast food restaurants will have completely remodeled their kitchens to better suit the needs of drone delivery.

Not far behind, Google has already been performing drone deliveries in Finland and Australia through its offshoot Project Wing. FedEx is developing a food delivery robot, and intends to partner with Pizza Hut, Walmart, and Walgreens in the endeavor.

Ever looking forward, Uber Elevate is also in the process of designing flying taxi technology. Test flights are tentatively planned for 2020 with an anticipated commercial launch in 2023.

Research by:

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer


VIEW BIO

Amazon Discontinues Its Restaurant Delivery Service

By the end of this month, Amazon Restaurants will be no more. First developed in 2015 as an Amazon Prime perk, the food delivery service was designed to compete with the likes of Uber Eats, Seamless, Postmates, and DoorDash. Current Amazon Restaurant employees have been moved to other roles within the company or will be supported in the process of securing employment elsewhere.

Analysts have been quick to note Amazon’s recent $575 million investment in the British food delivery service Deliveroo in May. During its four year run, Amazon Restaurants expanded from its hometown Seattle to more than 20 U.S. cities and briefly entered the U.K. market before closing the latter development in 2018. Deliveroo has successfully expanded to a number of countries including France, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Hong Kong.

With over 91 million monthly active users, Uber Eats is poised to take the lead in on-demand delivery. Like Amazon Restaurants, Uber Eats was established in 2015 — unlike Amazon Restaurants, it has continuously grown since its launch. Uber Eats currently services over 20 countries, in part thanks to its lucrative partnership with McDonald’s.

And the delivery platform will continue to be a threat to Amazon: Uber Eats intends to add grocery delivery options, putting AmazonFresh on the defense. AmazonFresh has been around since 2007, but its growth has been slow. In recent years, the company has abruptly dropped service in multiple U.S. states. The Uber grocery development team is already in the works, and will likely be based out of Toronto.

Despite its success, Uber Eats has struggled to establish a consumer-friendly fee structure. The structure was recently updated in March to address these concerns, but the update appears to be more confusing than the original design. Fees now vary depending on your location and courier availability, and a 15 percent service fee is applied to the subtotal of all orders. In The Barron Report episode below, host Paul Barron unpacks the new Uber Eats fee structure and predicts what may be ahead for the growing company.

Uber Eats Data and Financials Have been Unveiled in Uber's IPO Prospectus

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

For the last few months, the media has been reporting that the tech company Uber is on the verge of an IPO.

Well, it's officially happening this week. On Friday, Uber has released its S-1 financials document as part of the IPO process.

In this document, Uber had to disclose data on all of its companies, including its popular food delivery service platform Uber Eats.

Uber Eats is the largest growing sector in Uber's portfolio and according to the document, there are 91 million monthly active users of the platform.

"Of the 91 million [Monthly Active Platform Consumers] on our platform, over 15 million received a meal using Uber Eats in the quarter ended December 31, 2018, tapping into our network of more than 220,000 restaurants in over 500 cities globally," writes Uber Eats, as reported by "The Spoon."

Some of the other stats released by the company this week include-

  • The average Uber Eats delivery time is 30 minutes.

  • Uber Eats grew by $2.6 billion in gross during the quarter that ended in December of last year.

  • Uber Eats made $7.9 billion in gross in 2018

The company also claims that these findings make the third-party delivery app "the largest meal delivery platform in the world outside of China."

Although the company's popular ride-sharing app made it easy for the company to branch out into food delivery, 50 percent of first-time Uber Eats users in 2018 were new to the Uber app.

So what's next for Uber Eats? The company announced it has plans to expand into grocery delivery.

Read more about the Uber IPO and Uber Eats' financials at "The Spoon" now.

Late last month, Uber Eats rolled out a new fee structure, a move by the company to increase profits. Watch The Barron Report episode below where Host Paul Barron breaks down the new fees and the impact they will have on the restaurant industry.

The On-Demand Delivery Trends and the Technology Driving Them

The future of on-demand ordering could be summed up to one simple statement– It’s just beginning.

According to Foodable Labs, over 30% of the U.S. Restaurant industry is offering some kind of on-demand third-party ordering solution. Over 80% of consumers under the age of 35 are using on-demand food ordering apps about two times a week, proving the delivery segment has exploded thanks to the new age consumer and their dining habits.

The Big 6 are the lion's share of the market, but our research now shows over 100 on-demand food delivery companies serving the 1.2MM restaurant and food companies in the US.

The breakdown of Engagement and Sentiment tells an underlying story of these companies and how consumers view them and eventually, how restaurant operators may view them as well.

Engagement is scored by an analysis of how often consumers mention the use of the app or service on social along with an analysis of the Sentiment of the service based on food delivery speed, quality, accuracy.

The Engagement and Sentiment Scores of the Leading Third-Party Delivery Companies

According to this data, the Best Quality goes to the company Caviar. As the leader in the Sentiment area of Quality, this may be based on great service, but the company also recently acquired by Square. Remember Square is also a POS company and is tied to transaction-based business models. Recently Caviar added a spotlight that says "who's making your food" and has labels like women-owned restaurants. The overwhelming support by their users has given their consumer Sentiment score a boost.

Best Accuracy: Caviar came through as the leader in this area as well with a unique Sentiment score that showed this as one of the most appreciated aspects of its user base. Caviar's, along with other delivery apps', performance is being measured by the Chicago-based delivery search engine Food Boss, which is being led by the former McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.

Best Speed: Uber Eats takes this slot with what was one of the best Sentiment scores based on the overall app Sentiment. This has little to do with the ordering process and making a restaurant selection, which for most users ties into the overall speed of the order. As they continue to use their technology to analyze user behavior, Uber continues to have the upper hand when it comes to speed that other companies may not be able to pace.

I had a chance to explore one of the technology companies that has created a solution to centralize the on-demand challenge of being listed on multiple platforms mainly for discovery.

Ordermark has created a solution to centralize the in-store technology to create a more seamless integration into food operations which over time has become one of the most challenging aspects of the on-demand food ordering explosion.

Every restaurant operator understands discovery is the key to success and the solution in today’s world is not Facebook or Twitter, instead, it's being on as many on-demand platforms that you can handle. Alex Canter, CEO and founder of Ordermark and I discuss the growth aspects of the company and the delivery sector, as well as technology and operational challenges of the future of on-demand food ordering and where it might be heading.

How Uber Eats Continues to Grow and Lead in the Food Delivery Space

This year's Winter Fancy Food Show was full of innovative specialty products and incubators helping reimagine the future of food. Foodable had the pleasure of joining more than 15 innovators to the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Live Stage where trending industry topics were discussed. The following video features Foodable’s Paul Barron, interviewing Bowie Cheung, Director of Operations for Uber Eats.

Cheung explains how Uber Eats has gone as a lunchtime delivery experiment, partnering with one to two restaurants a day with a curated selection of meals. Now boasting a 24/7 coverage to 70 percent of the U.S. population, as well as, 70 percent of the Canadian population, with over 100,000 restaurants.

“Food delivery is a really complex process, there’s a lot of steps involved,” said Cheung. “In a lot of ways, every single transaction can go wrong, and so you need to be thinking about all audiences and how it comes together, in order to deliver a winning platform.”  

For a restaurant to perform well on a food delivery platform, Cheung advises operators to offer unique products, like the ones featured at the Winter Fancy Food Show. Uber Eats features images of restaurants’ specialty menu items as a way to highlight these options to consumers.

Discover how this rideshare giant continues to lead the food delivery industry by watching the video above.

Video Produced by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


VIEW BIO