Competition for footprint, restaurant partners, and drivers is fueling delivery service growth across the country and beyond, but these types of partnerships make us realize mobile food ordering and delivery pretty indispensable.
— Kristen Hawley
While a certain chicken restaurant is busy falling out of favor with airports in the U.S., Uber Eats, HMS Host, and Toronto’s Pearson airport have partnered for a fun twist on food delivery.
Uber Eats announced the pilot program on Thursday, delivering food to hungry air travelers right at their gates. Deliveries are available from HMS Host restaurants inside terminal 3, and travelers can use the Uber Eats mobile app to order. Of course, travelers should consider flight and boarding times when ordering.
“We want orders to be delivered as quickly as possible. Average delivery times depend on how busy a restaurant is when an order is placed, what food is ordered, and how many orders were placed beforehand,” an Uber Eats representative said. “We advise travelers to place an order at least 10-20 minutes before boarding.”
For now, the program is launching only in Toronto, and is scheduled to run for the next few months.
Different, but still kind of the same
The name ‘Uber’ carries a strong association — and not with airport food. Still, Uber Eats, recently estimated to have a $20 billion valuation, has enjoyed explosive growth. Toronto seems to be a proving ground of sorts for Eats; the standalone app launched there in 2015.
Competition between delivery services has never been fiercer. All are growing by leaps and bounds. Grubhub just celebrated its fifth anniversary as a publicly-traded company, while Postmates has already filed for a 2019 IPO. Uber Eats’ parent company isn’t far behind; an Uber’s IPO is slated for this year. And DoorDash, too, is on fire, recently closing a huge round of funding at a $7.1 billion valuation.
This sort of standalone program, even if it does expand to more airports in the U.S. or abroad, won’t move the needle in a huge way for Uber Eats, but it will give it the kind of recognition it wants: the brand known for delivering what you want, when you want it, wherever you are.
Uber Eats isn’t the only service to offer novel delivery options. Postmates announced a similar program last month: Attendees at the Coachella music festival can use the Postmates app to order food from vendors and skip the line.