Uber’s food delivery service debuts in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - A cold night during Friday’s blustery weather meant many people were staying in for the evening. And for those hunkered down in their homes who were craving a food, a popular ride-sharing app can now deliver meals to their doors.

UberEATS made its debut in St. Louis City just last week. The app launched in partnership with over 50 local restaurants.

“Offer speed, convenience, and to make people’s lives easier,” said Avram Rampersaud, general manager for UberEATS Missouri. “It’s not just about transportation.”

Once consumers download the UberEATS app, it asks for a location and gives a list of participating restaurants. The user then picks what they’re in the mood for and then checkout. The service charges a $5.99 delivery fee.

“One of the things that we try and look at is where can we have the biggest impact on our communities,” said Rampersaud. “And we looked at it from several different points of view, like from restaurants and how can we contribute to their bottom line.”

When UberEATS entered the food-delivery scene, some local restaurant owners like Jeff Parrott of Farotto’s Pizzeria and Pasta wondered how it fares especially against other mobile food ordering services.

“Postmates has been a strong service for us,” Parrott said.

He said UberEATS reached out to his restaurant to get his business.

“They are asking for a pretty good chunk of the house, 30 percent actually, so for a small mom and pop it’s hard for us to absorb that,” he said.

But the company said that it doesn’t mind the competition.

“Competition is good for everyone,” said Rampersaud. “And if you’re a restaurant then you try to make sure that your food is available to the widest audience possible.”

The app is available city wide for now, but Rampersaud said the company is looking to expand it in some local counties as well.