TORONTO – Uber has chosen the streets of Toronto for its latest experiment in food delivery.
The mobile app company, which has already shaken up the taxi industry, is now quadrupling the operating hours of its UberEats delivery service in the city and rolling out a much wider menu selection from local businesses.
Uber launched a stand-alone UberEats app exclusively in Toronto on Wednesday, first on Apple’s iOS devices. Smartphones running Google’s Android operating system will get the app on Tuesday.
Users will need to download the new program to access Uber’s expanded food service, which offers full menus from more than 100 restaurants in the Toronto area.
With the changes, customers will still be able to tap into Uber’s existing short list of menu items — a service it will now call “Instant Delivery” — which delivers a short list of food items in under 10 minutes.
Food off the longer menu will take a bit more time to arrive, as it will be prepared on the spot. Generally food will show up in less than 45 minutes, Cheung said.
Toronto is the only Canadian city where Uber delivers food, and Bowie Cheung, general manager of UberEats in the city, said it’s also one of the most popular of the 12 locations in the world where it delivers food.
“It’s building a great reputation as a technological hot spot for innovation,” he said.
“We launched UberEats about seven months ago in Toronto and the reception has been amazing. Customers rave about the service, they love it and it has grown quickly, so it felt like the natural place to launch this app.”
Among the new changes in Toronto, hours of delivery will now run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, rather than its previous operating hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Uber’s expansion marks the latest change for the rapidly evolving food delivery industry where global online company Just Eat acquired Canadian rival Orderit.ca over the summer.
Around the world, others have also been getting into the food delivery business, including e-commerce giant Amazon, which rolled out a similar service in 20 U.S. cities last month.
UberEats launched in the United States in August 2014 and has operated with a rotating menu of about four meals from a variety of local restaurants.
Uber has also been expanding into other areas of delivery, in some U.S. cities where UberRush ships packages and other goods.
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Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Cheung is general manager of Uber Toronto.