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South Africa was the first African country to get Uber, and Johannesburg was the first African city to get the car-and-driver-on-demand service when UberBlack launched back in 2013. So it’s only fitting that its new food delivery service has made its African debut in Johannesburg, too. Called UberEats, the new service promises to bring some of the best cuisine in your area (whether locally flavoured or not) straight to your door, all for the cost of an UberX.
How it works
Though you can use the same account for UberEats that you use for Uber – thus avoiding needing to put in your saved addresses or payment details again – it’s a standalone app. Download it, login with your existing Uber account (or create a new account if you’re not an Uber user) and you’ll be asked to select an address where you’d like to get food delivered. If your home and work address are saved it’ll start with these, or let you search for a different address.
Once you’ve decided where you’d like your grub, UberEats will display a list of restaurants within a 3.5km radius of your chosen location. At launch, partner restaurants include the likes of Cafe del Sol, The Local Grill, Casalotti’s, Momo Baohaus, Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream, Kauai and Mexican Fresh. You can’t choose fare from further afield for now, probably because UberEats doesn’t want you to have to wait too long, or get food that is past its prime.
Select a restaurant and a menu will pop up. UberEats lets restaurants decide which items to offer for the service, and whether or not to charge the same as they do in store, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get the full menu or the prices at your favourite spot look different to what you’re used to.
Restaurants can also update their menus on UberEats on the fly, so if they sell out of something they can mark it as such or temporarily remove it. Of course, this will require intervention on the restaurant’s part, and we can imagine it could take a little getting used to, but you can also bet UberEats is bending over backwards to make sure restaurants know exactly how to use the system so that end users don’t have a bad first experience and never try the app again.
After you’ve made your selections you’ll get an estimated time of delivery and info on who you can expect to appear in your driveway or office parking lot. There’s a base delivery fee of R20 (which is what an UberX minimum fare is) but no charge thereafter, and there’s no minimum order, so you can literally order that single ice cream or deep-fried tofu starter you’ve been craving. Which could prove dangerous.
When your delivery has been completed you’ll be prompted to rate the driver and each item you ordered. UberEats says it intends to use this data to ensure it weeds out poor menu items and drivers to ensure customers have the best possible experience.
Make a meal of it
If you’re in Johannesburg and want to give the service a try, you can use the promotional code “UberFreeMeal” for R100 off your first order. UberEats is also offering users personal referral codes that’ll earn them credit towards orders, much like it does with regular Uber. UberEats should roll out to Midrand and Pretoria in the next couple of months and should be in Cape Town early next year.
Note: While the app is free to purchase in the app store, you will need data to download and use the app. You can buy data bundles from Vodacom Online by logging in to My Vodacom »