Calls go out for Uber Eats

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Uber is bringing ride-sharing to Busselton and Dunsborough, but not its home-delivery service - yet.
Camera IconUber is bringing ride-sharing to Busselton and Dunsborough, but not its home-delivery service - yet. Credit: AP

Busselton and Dunsborough businesses are calling for Uber to follow next month’s rollout of its ride-sharing service with Uber Eats — a function allowing food outlets to outsource home delivery.

Uber recently announced it would launch in the Busselton-Dunsborough district and Bunbury after encrypted data via the app showed high demand in the areas, despite the service not yet operating anywhere in regional WA.

Following the announcement, the Times received several queries on whether subsidiary service Eats would be next. A company spokeswoman responded, saying: “While we have no current plans to launch Uber Eats, we'll continue to closely monitor demand.”

Esplanade Hotel owner Chris Fleming said she received regular inquiries about home delivery, and while it was not currently feasible, Eats could change that.

“I like the idea of Eats because we can do a modified menu and ensure the quality of the food will get to the other side as it should be,” she said.

The Firestation Speciality Beer and Wine Bar’s Josh Hill said he’d love to see Eats roll out “as soon as possible”.

“Given the opportunity, we’d love to get involved with the Uber Eats,” he said.

“We believe it provides a convenient and familiar interface for out-of-town visitors to try food from smaller independent venues that they may be unfamiliar with. It should prove to be a valuable source of custom through colder months with locals who want the ease of ordering from home.”

Kelly Hancey, of Busselton Thai and Lemongrass Thai, said he wasn’t overly familiar with the app but liked the idea of outsourcing delivery.

“We do get a lot of delivery requests, so if there was some way to outsource it, that would be great,” he said.

Owner of Snatch Dogs in Dunsborough, Mermaid Ford, believed it would be an efficient and effective way of offering delivery without taking chefs out of the kitchen.

“To have someone else who knows the streets (delivering food) rather than my staff, who are meant to be cooking ... I’d love that,” she said.

Eats allows food outlets to upload their menus to an app, through which customers can order and pay for meals.

The app detects the user’s location and sends the nearest Uber Eats driver to pick up and deliver the meal.

Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Jo Richards said there was huge demand for it and encouraged Uber to follow the ride-sharing rollout with Eats.

“The community are saying they want this,” she said.

“Anything that helps businesses service their customers’ needs is welcome.”

Spice Odysee and Hidden Kitchen owner Fathish Kumar is currently gearing up to offer his own delivery service but said he would be keen to use Eats for locations beyond his delivery radius.

Occy’s manager Amanda Ellis offered a different point of view and was a little apprehensive about the service.

While conceding she wasn’t too familiar with the concept, Ms Ellis said there were already enough delivery options.

“Dunsborough is quite small and so it’s accessible for people to come and dine out, and I think that’s far more important,” she said.

Uber said it would continue to monitor demand.

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