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Uber Eats team opens up about the future of the service in Canada

TORONTO — When Uber chose Toronto for the global debut of its Eats service in December 2015, Faye Pang recalls the tech giant had just 10 employees taking up a small space in the ride-hailing company’s office. As the delivery service progressed from its initial offering of a handful of local lunch specials to a vast array of dishes around the globe, the growing headcount forced it to hold meetings in movie theatres and eventually move out of Uber’s headquarters into its own office in Scotiabank Plaza in the city’s financial district. According to Ipsos Foodservice Monitor research, delivery and take-out accounted for eight per cent of sales for quick service restaurants and six per cent of full-service restaurants sales in Canada for the first quarter of 2018. Hostile city councils, fee-averse mom-and-pop restaurants, far-flung suburban markets and fierce competition from rivals including Foodora and SkipTheDishes present formidable obstacles, even for a high-profile brand such as Uber. And Uber Eats has still yet to push into potentially lucrative food offerings beyond restaurants, such as meal kits, restaurant supplies, catering and groceries. He admitted his team has looked at the potential for subscription services for customers repeatedly making Uber Eats orders, but wouldn’t share more around the possibility of such an offering coming to the platform. For now, Park, Pang and Uber Eats Canada sales manager Kristy Bates are content with focusing on how to get more restaurants and customers on the platform and to get existing partners to use it even more.

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