Aucklanders and restaurants embrace UberEats
Some central Auckland restaurants were inundated with online orders on Thursday as customers embraced Uber's new on-demand food delivery service, UberEats.
Bagel chain Best Ugly Bagels had nine orders within the first hour and a half of the mobile application's launch.
One breakfast order for an office totalled more than $100.
Uber's spokesman Caspar Nixon said the busyness at Best Ugly Bagels and japanese restaurant &Sushi, indicated a positive response.
READ MORE: UberEats launches food delivery services in Auckland
He said the introduction of UberEats to New Zealand was beneficial for restaurants because they could increase their customers and revenue without increasing overhead costs.
The app launched with menus from 70 Auckland restaurants including the popular chains &Sushi and Little Bird Unbakery and fine dining establishments Miann and Molten.
UberEats will deliver within central Auckland suburbs between Parnell and Eden Park, but has plans to expand into other suburbs.
Restaurants who sign up to UberEats pay a service fee to Uber.
"UberEats is less controversial [than Uber] because it's not disrupting an entire industry but it's still innovative for restaurants who previously did not offer takeaway," Nixon said.
Melbourne burger chain On It Burger rented a commercial kitchen in Sydney to meet UberEats customer demands.
That was an example of restaurants innovating to reach more customers for less money as they didn't have to build an entire restaurant in a new city, Nixon said.
Al Brown and Co general manager Stuart Robertson said if demand for takeaway services like UberEats grew, he would add extra resources to cater for it.
However, the takeaway service would not spell the end of in-house dining, he said.
"No matter how strong UberEats becomes, it's not going to be the same as coming in … and getting great service."
Competing takeaway delivery service Delivereasy launched in Auckland last week in a move to pre-empt UberEats' arrival.
Delivereasy co-founder Nick Foster said there was room for competition because his business focused on "cheap and cheerful" restaurants.
Nixon would not disclose how much it pays UberEats drivers in New Zealand.
In August last year, UberEats couriers in London protested over pay cuts which they claimed led them to earning below the minimum wage.
Uber driver, Gurpreet Goraya is also an UberEats courier.
Goraya said it would work for him because it allowed him to earn income during quiet Uber ride times.
The app allows drivers like him to complete Uber passenger rides and pick up and deliver meals for near-by customers.
Another arm of Uber, UberVino, launched in Adelaide, Australia last week.
The service allows passengers to hire an Uber at an hourly rate for a prolonged time.
The idea, originally launched in California's Napa Valley, was introduced for passengers visiting wineries who did not want to drink and drive or choose a designated driver.
Despite New Zealand's extensive wine industry, Nixon said there were "no current plans" to bring UberVino here.
But, car pooling service UberPool would eventually come to New Zealand.
The service alerts Uber drivers when passengers are travelling in the same direction so they can share the ride to reduce cost and environmental harm.
Nixon said UberPool was available in 30 cities and would work well in a congested city like Auckland.