Students on campus are used to hailing a ride with Uber, but now they can order a snack or meal with the company as well. Uber is expanding its presence in Ann Arbor with the launch of UberEATS, a new food delivery system featuring Uber drivers as the deliverers.
The phone application launched on Dec. 7 and will connect Ann Arbor residents to 27 different local restaurants. While in Michigan the food delivery system is currently only operating in downtown Ann Arbor, Kerrytown and the University of Michigan campus, UberEATS has the potential to expand even farther.
Liz Meyerdirk, UberEATS Head of Development, said more restaurants are learning about UberEATS and seeking to get involved themselves.
“After launching, we work to understand what customers want by surveying and understanding what their behavior is like through the app,” Meyerdirk said.
Meyerdirk chose to launch UberEATS in Ann Arbor from Washtenaw Dairy, a local dairy store known for its ice cream and donuts.
“From growing up in Ann Arbor, I had a lot of great memories of Washtenaw Dairy," Meyerdirk said. "It really felt natural for us to have Washtenaw Dairy not only a launch partner but someone we showcased and highlighted."
LSA sophomore Catharine Greenberg has used UberEATS since it arrived in Ann Arbor in early December.
“I’ve used UberEATS a handful of times in Ann Arbor, and was pleasantly surprised by how affordable the options were, even from nicer restaurants,” Greenberg said. “I think that it opens up the delivery scene to more sit-down restaurants, which I appreciate as someone who orders in pretty regularly.”
A popular feature on UberEATS is a specific serviced called McDelivery, which works with numerous McDonald’s locations across the country to deliver Big Mac meals and McFlurries. Ann Arbor has five McDonald’s locations participating in McDelivery.
Business sophomore Vincent Giacalone II shared how he plans on using UberEATS and McDelivery in the future.
“It makes sense that they would do a delivery system for this because the whole point of fast food is to get food fast,” Giacalone said. “When it’s really late and you’re hungry and you don’t want to drive to get McDonald’s, this is super convenient.”
UberEATS is now available on over 85 college campuses in the United States, and has partnered with nearly 60,000 restaurants. Students studying abroad also have the opportunity to use UberEATS, as it also delivers in 27 countries.
"Wherever there’s Uber, we’d love to have UberEATS," Meyerdirk said.