Uber Eats was one of several experimental services trialled in 2014, as then-CEO Travis Kalanick tried to broaden Uber’s scope to include new forms of transportation, utilizing the company’s ride-sharing platform.
Unlike UberRush and UberEssentials, two of the other piloted services, Uber Eats survived to become a multi-billion dollar business.
Originally, Uber Eats (or uberFRESH as it was known) delivered a fixed price menu to people in a small Santa Monica, California test area. The service soon expanded to include Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and local restaurants were invited to join.
Within a year, Uber Eats was available in Barcelona, New York, and Chicago. Uber also moved Eats out of the cluttered main app, launching as a standalone in August 2015.
Instead of building a new network of delivery riders like most restaurant delivery services, Uber utilized its extensive network of taxicabs during the initial launch stage in many cities. This has provided Uber with enough supply to expand quickly in countries with established or domestic delivery services, such as the UK, Japan and Australia.
Not every launch has been a success though. Uber has ended Eats participation in a few countries due to heavy competition. It ended service in South Korea in 2019 and sold its Indian branch to Zomato earlier this year. In May, it announced plans to end operations in Czech Republic, Honduras, Egypt, Romania, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
Uber works with Yandex in Russia and hasn’t launched in China, possibly due to the competition presented by Alibaba’s Ele.me and Meituan Dianping.
It has also had trouble cementing first place in its home market. In the early years, Uber Eats played second fiddle to Grubhub, but DoorDash surpassed both in 2019 to become the leading food delivery app. According to Second Measure, DoorDash was responsible for 45 percent of meal delivery sales in June 2020, while Uber Eats and Grubhub battled it out for second place.
Uber has bolstered its position with the acquisition of Postmates in July for $2.65 billion, adding about 10 percent to its total market-share. However, its main competitor Grubhub was recently acquired by European food delivery giant Just-Eat Takeaway, providing it with more cash reserves to compete.
This is a major issue for Uber Eats, as even though it takes a 30 percent cut from all orders and a delivery fee, it has yet to make a profit. Part of the problem is in many cities, Uber is attempting to gain market-share through exclusive partnerships with big name brands (McDonalds, Starbucks) and by offering cheap delivery costs.
The argument made by Uber is once it has expanded enough and the market has stabilised, Eats will be profitable, but that’s a long way off with Just-Eat entering the US market and DoorDash running multiple successful funding rounds a year.
Even in the UK, Uber Eats is struggling to surmount Just-Eat in total volume, while also having to battle Deliveroo for restaurant deliveries. This is happening in most countries, in which Uber Eats faces off against a large takeaway aggregator and domestic meal delivery service.
That said, Uber Eats has reported lower losses year-on-year, so potentially as the market consolidates, it may reach a point of profitability.
That road to profitability may be squashed if Uber Eats needs to recognise riders as employees. Uber has received a lot of flack for labelling its drivers independent contractors, which has led to a German court banning the app and California ordering a reclassification. Riders for Uber Eats are not currently involved in this dispute, but as Eats becomes a more prominent part of Uber’s business, lawmakers may connect the two.
Uber Eats could also boost its potential profitability avenues through the use of automated technologies. Uber has been testing food delivery drones and self-driving vehicles as potential solutions to the human-cost problem. However, these are still a few years from any commercial deployment.
Uber Eats (and other food delivery services) are attempting to reduce costs through the use of “dark kitchens”, which are set up by restaurants in cheaper locations and only focus on delivery. Uber recently announced it would stop providing the real-estate for these kitchens, but has paved the way for many chain restaurants in the UK and US to use them.
As Uber’s ride-hailing platform has been decimated by COVID-19, Eats has become central to sustaining the business. In the second quarter of 2020, Eats earned more revenue than Rides, although Uber still sees ride-hailing as its primary business for the foreseeable future.
We’ve collected data and statistics on Uber Eats revenue, users, availability, market-share and competition in the US and internationally. Read below to find out more.
Uber Eats Overview
|Launch date||August 2014|
|HQ||San Francisco, California|
|People||Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO), Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty (head of Uber Eats)|
Uber Eats Revenue
|Q1 2020||$819 million|
|Q2 2020||$1.2 billion|
Uber Eats Gross Bookings
* Predicted amount by Uber.
Uber Eats Monthly Active Users
Uber Eats Cities Available
Uber Eats Supported Restaurants
Uber Eats Average User Spend Per Year
Uber Eats US Food Delivery Marketshare
|2020||30% (with Postmates)|
Uber Eats vs US Competitors: Food Delivery Marketshare
Uber Eats Rivals: Competitors and Alternatives
|DoorDash||The current champion in the US market, DoorDash has supplanted Grubhub as Uber Eats home competitor|
|Just-Eat Takeaway||Just-Eat Takeaway is already a force in Europe, and the acquisition of Grubhub has made it a competitor in the US market as well|
|Delivery Hero||Delivery Hero, with its assortment of local subsidiaries, is Uber’s main competitor in Asia and South America|
|Deliveroo||Deliveroo is a key competitor in Europe for restaurant delivery, operating in France, Spain and the UK|
|Rappi||A Colombian delivery startup which received investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. It has since expanded to most of South America|
|Jumia||Jumia is an e-commerce powerhouse and Africa’s first unicorn startup. Its delivery services are available across the continent|
Uber Eats vs Competitors: Revenue and Countries Available
Note: Just-Eat Takeaway revenue includes Grubhub. Uber Eats revenue includes Postmates.
Key Uber Eats stats
- Uber Eats reportedly controls 29 percent of global food delivery market (Fortune)
- Uber Eats was the most downloaded food delivery app worldwide in Q2 2020 (SensorTower)
- In Uber’s IPO, it said it had captured one percent of the $795 billion restaurant ordering market
- Uber Eats users are more loyal to the Uber brand, booking 11.5 trips per month compared to 4.9 trips for non-Eats users (Uber IPO)
- The average Uber Eats delivery time is 30 minutes
- Uber Eats has been valued at $20 billion (WSJ)
- Uber runs its Eats service through Careem, which it acquired in 2019 for $3.1 billion (Forbes)
- Uber Eats is responsible for an additional €500 million in revenue for European restaurants (Deloitte)
- In the second quarter of 2020, Eats surpassed Rides in revenue, becoming Uber’s main source of income (TechCrunch)
- The average Uber Eats customer spent 50 percent more in 2018 than 2017 (Rakuten)
- Uber Eats made more revenue in the first half of 2020 than it did in all of 2019
- McDonalds reportedly accounted for 60 percent of Uber Eats’ deliveries in the UK in 2019 (Wired)
- The most popular delivery request in the US is no onion, followed by extra sauce and no tomatoes (Uber)