UberEats hits London, restaurants struggle to meet demand
Watch out Deliveroo, Uber is coming for you. As expected, the black-cab-baiting behemoth has made its move into food delivery in London with its latest arrival, UberEats – but not all is going entirely to plan.
The service went live from lunchtime yesterday and the huge spike in demand has been causing headaches for restaurants across London. While many happy customers spent yesterday munching away on cut-price nibbles, other users have been turning to social media to report that their orders have been incorrect, late or have had them cancelled at the last minute.
In the interests of journalistic rigour, four members of the Alphr team also put in an order for today’s lunch. So far two have been cancelled, one has been delivered and the other is currently on its way.
I received a call from Uber following my order cancellation where they admitted that restaurants were simply incapable of meeting demand and had subsequently requested to go offline. Given the fact that the service is offering £10-£20 of free food to every single user, that’s perhaps not especially surprising.
If you fancy trying your luck, you can now download the UberEats app on iOS or Android, or just head over to the UberEats website on desktop, and get your order in. Given the huge number of promo codes doing the rounds, the lure of cheap or free food may outweigh the worry of your order getting cancelled.
Currently the service is only available in very, very central London (see the picture below if you’re wondering how central), and while there are theoretically over 150 restaurants on UberEats’ books, the surge of orders means that you may currently see a very limited range of options – around midday, there were 20-plus restaurants accepting orders in W1T; come 1pm, there were less than 10.
Niggles aside, there are a promising range of eateries on UberEats’ books. With names such as The Rum Kitchen, Zelman Meats, Patty & Bun, ClockJack, Chilango, Pho, Comptoir Libanais, Snog and more on the list, I can only hope that the delivery niggles get sorted out soon.
The really good news? Delivery is completely free for the first month, and you can also get up to £10 off your first order with the code LDNEATS. And if the delivery takes longer than half an hour, you get a £20 discount off your next order – given that most orders take at least half an hour, you’re almost guaranteed free food on your first couple of orders.