[THE INVESTOR] US ride-hailing service provider Uber, which failed to expand its car-sharing service in Korea due to a stiff resistance from taxi drivers, on Aug. 10 launched its restaurant delivery app UberEats in Seoul.
Korean mobile food delivery market is already crowded with popular local startups like YoGiYo, FoodFly and Baedal Minjok. UberEats says it aims to differentiate its service by providing its unique curating technology, which recommends restaurants based on the data of the consumer’s past orders.
Allen Penn, Asia-Pacific head of UberEats
“UberEats will suggest restaurants you never heard of, almost like Netflix,” said. “Your UberEats app will look totally different from the person sitting next to you (after using it for a while).”
For diners, this means customized services. For restaurant owners, UberEats believe it can help them improve since they will have access to previous order logs and customer feedback.
Another unique aspect is that anyone can become a courier. Its delivery partners don’t need to have delivery experience or even be able to drive a car, since couriers can choose their mode of transportation. Once they sign up, all they have to do is turn on the app, and UberEats will connect them based on where the couriers are. Further, the customers get real-time access to the location of the couriers, meaning they will know approximately how long it will take to get their food.
Its service is currently available in Itaewon and Gangnam only, but the company plans to expand its business to other parts of Seoul. The customers have to pay an additional 3,500 won (US$3.06) as delivery fee. However, unlike its rivals in Korea there is no minimum order amount.
The firm’s profit comes mainly from fees it collects from partner restaurants. So far, UberEats has signed up more than 200 restaurants in Seoul as partners.
By Song Seung-hyun (email@example.com)