I don’t have many apps on my phone but I did download Uber while in Australia last December and loved it. Uber’s ride-sharing app is quite well known, but you probably don’t know much about their food delivery app, UberEATs. I was recently given a promotional voucher for 50% off my first two UberEATS orders. I was overly happy and scurried home before reading the small print that stated “max discount £10 per order”. You could say “silly me” because if I lived in places like Kensington and Chelsea, takeaways are expensive. However, in North London, the prices are quite reasonable, so this actually worked out in my favour.
To use the voucher, you simply download the free app, link it to your Uber account (if you have one) and you are good to go. You can order food from restaurants in your area partnered with UberEATS and they promise to deliver in about 30 minutes. This is probably sensible because any longer and your food will arrive cold. If you are already aware of the food places in your area it is a great opportunity to get your favourite food in the comfort of your own home or workplace. However, the concept of food delivery apps is not new especially with the growth of Deliveroo. So, here are some positives and negatives I observed when ordering some food for the first time with UberEats.
Simple design layout
The layout design of the app is clean and easy to use. On the homepage, restaurants that deliver to your address are listed by: those that deliver in under 30 minutes, popular restaurants near you and other restaurants close by. The Google-like search box which auto-fills possible food cuisines and restaurants in your area is definitely useful. You can also sort by delivery time or even price. I was in the mood for Asian food so that is exactly what I searched for. The first thing that came up was Asia Villa. The attention to detail is not lost at this point in the app as it notifies you of restaurant opening times and highlights when it is closed. Depending on the restaurant, small thumbnail images accompany short descriptions, prices of each dish and food labels. Luckily for me, Asia Villa had all these and I ordered Special Fried Rice, Tom Yum Gung Soup, Scissor Noodle and Banana Tempura for dessert.
Real time tracking system
Gone are the days of worrying why it is taking so long for your order to arrive. The familiar Uber tracking system activates when you submit your order. While trying this app for the first time, I was surprised at the speed in which Asia Villa actually prepared the food. This made me wonder if cooking time was truly included in the delivery time or if the food was pre-prepared. Nonetheless, I definitely felt catered too as my food was clearly prioritised to get it to me faster.
Food allergies or special requirements friendly
Playing around with the app some more, I realised that it had many other features. I love the fact that you can also sort the restaurants by your dietary requirements. The three main options are: vegetation, vegan and gluten-free. However, there is also the option to customise your dishes by writing in the special instruction box on every item selected. For example, no cheese or onions in your burger. These can also be used to ask for napkins or even extra sauce. This is excellent as we all know how annoying it is to run out of that when having an Indian takeaway.
A short while after eating, I received an app notification to review my food and the delivery driver. It also included the option to leave individual comments. I initially thought it was odd that the completed delivery time was not included in this screen. However, I was thinking ahead of myself. A receipt was sent via email a short while later. This included order details and the delivery time. I think for my next order, I will need to use the review feature to specify “less spicy”. The scissor noodles were laden with red chilli flakes. I know it said they were spicy but there really should have been a “very spicy” label. Afterall, the amount of time I needed to stop for a breather to clear my sinuses was numerous.
The need for Quality Control
There were not many cons that I observed but one nitpicking point is quality control. It is great for the restaurateur that Uber has given them control over entering details of their menu. However, there were several spelling mistakes in items on a number of the restaurants. This may not be Uber’s fault but it is differently a problem, if they don’t already have a spell check measure in place for restaurants inputting information.
Limited Communication Channels
At one point during my order I was seriously contemplating using the “contact driver” feature as I watched my delivery driver spin around looking for my location. I also wondered what would happen if I needed to amend my order or had an issue in the app. Investigating UberEats FAQ’s the only option presented if you have a problem after placing your order is to the contact their support team from within the app. It would have been better if there was chat function.
Going back into the app several times, the same restaurants appear that the top of the feed. Good old McDonalds! They could be the most popular restaurant to eat from in the area. However, as I ordered Asian food for my first order, I am surprised to still see McDonalds under “people with similar tastes” and 1st, 3rd and 5th option for deliver in “under 30 minutes”. Just like suermarkets, fast food chains are in close proximity to each other. It might be more helpful for UberEats to diversity the restaurants in areas to reduce promotion for such a big chains.
I would give UberEats 3.5/5 rating. The app is very easy to use but the amount of restaurants signed up for UberEats needs to expand in my area of North London. On the plus side, I definitely give a thumbs up to Asia Villa. The food tasted very authentic and was tasty. The portions were extremely generous (there was alot of leftovers) and the food was well-packaged. I am still surprised the Tom Yum Gung Soup didn’t spill. I especially liked the green tea ice cream that came with the banana tempura.
If you would like to try out UberEATs for yourself, use my code eats-tavianh15ue to get £3 off your first meal. Please note that this discount is valid in UberEATS cities that have the same currency. If you travel to a country with a different currency, the discount will not apply.
Happy eating and see you next week for another blog post.