UberEats moves into Columbia, puts new take on takeout

UberEats expanded its services to the city of Columbia as well as student customers at MU.

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Since the debut of the Uber app, familiarity with the concept of paid strangers taking you from place to place has grown. Concerns are still raised from time to time over safety of the passengers and the pay of the drivers but recently, a new concept has rolled into town that offers even more convenience.

UberEats has expanded its services to the city of Columbia as well as students customers at MU. The concept of being an UberEats customer is rather simple. You order food online through the app or website. A delivery partner is dispatched to grab your takeout from its establishment and bring it to you to complete the transaction. You pay up front with no tip to the delivery partner, only the overhead delivery fee.

The other side to the app is the delivery partner. If you meet the requirements set forth by the overhead Uber company, then you can apply to be an UberEats delivery partner. This allows users to make money through delivery service much in the same fashion as the Uber ride system.

A screening process as well as documentation is necessary to complete the application. While delivery partners don’t make an exorbitant amount of money, it is a good way to pick up cash on the side. Unlike Uber ride’s, you need the minimum of a bike or other quick mode of transportation, such as a scooter, rather than always a car.

Many issues and questions arise through such a process. Questions such as “What if my food gets damaged by the delivery partner?” or “What if I need to make a special request due to a dietary concern or allergy?” are handled by the overhead company of Uber. There is a support system set into the app where many of these questions can be answered as well as an FAQ page.

All of the mistakes made by the delivery partners are handled through the company, be it a docking of pay or a reprimand. Also like the Uber ride service, having an extremely low rating would make it difficult for a delivery partner to find work within the app.

The issue that is plaguing the app in the MU student community is its underwhelming reception. Its reception is mute due to the overall nature of the college experience. Many college students cannot afford to use UberEats for the convenience that it's designed for. A typical receipt would be the cost of the meal, plus tax, plus a booking fee that changes depending on how busy the service is and how heavy traffic is.

While the economic top percent of students that attend the school may be able to afford this convenience, it is rather easy for even these students to take 10 to 15 minutes to walk to the restaurant and enjoy the ambience with their friends- or they can just order a pizza.

Other apps, such as DoorDash, are in direct competition with UberEats, making it harder for an already unpopular app to grab a foothold.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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