The food delivery market has been growing steadily in recent years, marked by both successes and failures. Amazon closed its food delivery service in the US, while DoorDash has been rumoured to be trying to break the UK market.
Given the plethora of food delivery options, it's no wonder that the providers are looking to diversify their offering - and this is just what Uber Eats is doing. As well as food delivery and food collection, their plans have included a 'subscription' based service for unlimited deliveries and the option of a cheaper service for slower delivery.
Most recently Uber Eats has launched a "Dine-In" option for users to order food in advance and turn up at the restaurant to eat. The option is only available in selected cities in the US (Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego) with no plans for a general roll-out - although this may change.
The additional option to eat-in could help drive footfall as prospective diners browse their phones and seems a natural extension to the existing option to order for pick up from the restauraunt. However, many restaurants are investing in technology and development of their own delivery/collection service. In the future third party delivery service providers may be unnecessary (and expensive) competition, particularly if table space becomes an issue.
Although "Dine-In" is only available in a few cities, the evolution of food delivery service highlights the demand for a frictionless, no fee service. This is highlighted by the growing number of apps which enable customers to digitally 'queue' so as to have to avoid physically waiting in line.
The irony is not lost in the fact that a food delivery app has come full circle to now offering the ability to eat in; an option which pre-dates apps.
What's clear is that diners have options and the competition only seems to be intensifying.