The Long Evolution of Uber Eats’ App

The food delivery service will take center stage on Uber's app.

Uber Eats will get the chance to shine within the official Uber app.
Uber Eats will get the chance to shine within the official Uber app. Uber

Uber Eats has had quite an evolution since launching five years ago. The food delivery platform was created by parent company Uber (UBER) in 2014, during a pivotal time for the ride hailing app’s popularity, as a venture to become an all-in-one convenience platform.

However, since its debut Uber Eats has had quite a journey competing with takeout-ordering veterans, such as Grubhub-owned Seamless, Yelp’s Eat24 and rival Postmates. Over the years, Uber attempted to grow the app’s popularity by consistently tweaking and rearranging its interface, climbing to become the third most popular food ordering app.

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Now, it’s finally settling on incorporating the service within the main Uber app, which brings us to Thursday’s announcement of the full integration. The push to feature Uber Eats on the official Uber homepage may become a nuisance for customers attempting to hail rides, but it could be the service’s best chance at getting in front of new eyeballs.

“Most people today know Uber as a ridesharing app: they open the app when they want to go from A to B,” Joost van der Ree, the designer who worked on the Uber app’s new home screen, told Fast Company. “How do we help widen that intent from just ridesharing to other modes of transport and daily needs?”

The latest facelift was also previewed by Emilie Boman, head of global policy for Uber Eats, in a company blog post titled “Making Food Delivery More Accessible & Sustainable.” New features will include utensil “opt-in” and dietary allergies and restriction requests.

For power users, the move to combine the transit and food delivery services could seem like a long time coming. After all, the company has been experimenting with displaying the food-ordering button above its famous map for the past year, which takes customers to the official Uber Eats app or prompts them to download it.

In 2019, Uber Eats’ offerings have also extended to include a monthly subscription pass similar to Postmates’ program, as well as a new option to “eat in” after placing a restaurant order.

It’s unclear whether the sprawling Uber Eats menu will overwhelm the official Uber app and turn customers off. But if the company’s evolving Eats strategy is any indication, they probably won’t give up on finding it a place.

The Long Evolution of Uber Eats’ App