|FTM's Mark Collier tried UberEats and documents the experience. If you'd like to try it, you can use his discount code: MarkC33348ue.|
Ridesharing services have changed the game in terms of transportation.
Apps like Uber and Lyft have made getting around, planning your trips and reducing traffic congestion a reality. If you're not familiar with the service, it's essentially a car service with which a person can use a smartphone app to arrange a ride in another privately owned vehicle. When you register for the app, you provide your credit card information, so when you use it, you use no cash.
It's like magic.
UberEATS is a new food delivery platform that makes getting food from your favorite local restaurants as easy as requesting a ride. They bring you your food from your favorite restaurants for a nominal upcharge. It's a potential gamechanger for restaurants and consumers alike.
So I tried it.
In Fort Thomas, there are lots of restaurants that you can try. The only Fort Thomas restaurant that you can currently order from within the app is Top This Donut Bar. And you totally should, not just because they are an FTM Family advertiser, but because their donuts dipped in vanilla and sprinkled with Fruity Pebbles is amazing.
I decided to order from Eli's BBQ at Findlay Market, because it's not someplace that I typically drive past daily and wanted to see how fast it would be.
This was my experience:
In Fort Thomas you can currently order from 51 different restaurants. The full list of what's available is at the end of the article.
After clicking on the UberEATS app and uploading my card information (and a promo code the first time you join - my affiliate code is MarkC33348UE), you're given a choice of restaurants and approximately how long it'll take for you to be eating your food.
I chose Eli's BBQ at Findlay Market, which is carry out only anyway and a spot I always try to hit up when I go.
I went with the 2 All-Beef Dogs Platter with a side of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese for $9.25, which is also the price of that meal at the Findlay Market or Riverside Dr. location. No upcharge, but the app does say that menu items could different from in store purchases.
The franks are large, flash fried and topped with bbq sauce, cole slaw and pork crispins.
One of the more surprising things to me was that UberEATS' booking fee was only $4.99. That meant my total bill was $14.24. The app does say that if the restaurant is extra busy, there could be an extra service fee, which is indicated by a red arrow next to the restaurant in the app.
Like in Uber, UberEATS doesn't offer a place to tip the courier. This differs from Lyft, but according to Uber a tip is not expected or required.
After making your menu selections, UberEATS does its work. It allows you to track your order from the moment you hit "order" until the food courier knocks on your door with your food.
I completed my order at 2:31 p.m. on Friday and the original estimated time for delivery was 2:59 p.m. 28 minutes. Not bad.
After the order was accepted, the next notification, which you can opt to turn off if you'd like, was letting me know that the food was being prepared. I noticed the app was letting me know that it was going to be ready a minute earlier. Probably an off time, I thought.
At 3:00 p.m., two minutes after my food was estimated to have been delivered, I got my next notification that the food was ready. I wasn't in a hurry. I was doing research. Important research. Research that people care about. Right? Okay, I'm hungry now.
Just like in the Uber or Lyft app, once the food is ready, the app will let you know who'll be delivering your food. My courier was Harris and he was driving a Volkswagen Jetta.
It's not clear what the delay was. Did they get busy and behind at the restaurant? Were there not enough drivers? App too new with some bugs? Not sure.
Once the notification pinged my phone that Harris was on the way, the estimated delivery time was pretty accurate. Spot on actually. He arrived at 3:13 p.m., 42 minutes after placing the order and 14 minutes after the initial estimated delivery time.
|Harris, the UberEATS driver delivering Eli's BBQ to me.|
The food was really, really good, but obviously lost some zest in it's approximately 30-minute trek from Over-The-Rhine to Fort Thomas. To be expected.
Perhaps the coolest thing was that with a few clicks, a stranger was picking up Eli's BBQ for me from Findlay Market and bringing it to my door for essentially five dollars.
It's a game changer.
Because the estimated time differed from the initial estimated time, they (unsolicited) sent me an email to apologize and send me a $5 promo code off of my next order.
This company gets it.
So my two cents:
It's super cool and convenient. The app is easy to use. The booking fee seems cheap, but I did order during an off, non-busy time. The best bang for your buck would be if you were ordering food for a family or if you're just super hungry. Ordering food that travels well might be crucial. Also, this could open up another revenue stream for restaurants, specifically to potential consumers outside a comfortable driving route. Especially important in Fort Thomas, which sometimes struggles with restaurants being supported by its residents.
UberEATS is currently available Downtown, Norwood, Hyde Park, Evanston, Xavier University campus, University of Cincinnati campus, Covington, OTR, Newport and Fort Thomas. Simply, open the app to see the restaurants in your area.
According to the app, UberEATS is planning on expanding to more suburbs soon.
Here are the restaurants currently available to deliver:
Top This Donut Bar (Fort Thomas), Gold Star Chili (Covington), Ichiban Japanese Cuisine, El Camino, Mac's Pizza Pub Mainstrasse, Gilpin's, Steamed Streats, Tucker's, Fireside Pizza, Currito (Xavier), Pizza Tower, Which Wich, Tom + Chee (Court St. and Newport), Mad Mikes Burgers and Fries, Center Hub Deli & Catering, NEUF, Servatti, Martino's, Giminetti Baking Company, Cafe de Paris, Tin Roof, Bouquet, Off The Vine Juice Bar, Beef O'Brady's, Bambooz Bar and Grill, BrewRiver Gastro Pub, Gomez Salsa, 27 Bar + Kitchen, The Weekly Juicery, In Between Tavern, We Olive & Wine Bar, FrozenYo, Mama Mimi's Take N Bake Pizza, Eli's BBQ, Pleasantry, Green Derby, Yagoot Frozen Yogurt, Urbana Cafe, Lucy Blue Pizza, Babushka Pierogies, Hofbrauhaus Newport, Brezel, Lalo, Off The Vine, Macaron Bar, Churchill's Fine Teas, Maverick Chocolate Co., Sweet Petit Desserts.