Due to be launched next month: Food delivery app to change Colombo’s consumer and restaurant landscape | Sunday Observer

Due to be launched next month: Food delivery app to change Colombo’s consumer and restaurant landscape

*‘Encouraging responses  from restaurant partners  in Colombo’

* Present in over 250 cities across the world


Uber Eats, the food delivery app of the ride-hailing company Uber, is all set to launch its services in Colombo next month. Similar to the Uber rides app, Uber Eats is an app that helps bring food to consumers in a convenient and reliable manner from all the best and latest restaurants.

“It has been very encouraging to see the response from restaurant partners in Colombo in the pre-launch phase. A number of restaurant owners have reached out to partner with us. We are optimistic about Colombo and will leverage our rides network here to connect with consumers. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the food culture of the city,” Head of Uber Eats India and South Asia, Bhavik Rathod said.

Uber Eats is present in over 250 cities across the world. It is the world’s largest food delivery network. In Colombo, the service will be launch with the best and most loved restaurants that consumers can choose from for all their food ordering needs within the comfort of their home, he said at an interview with Business Observer.

“The food industry has grown exponentially and we are confident that our presence will make a difference in local food culture. We will have the advantage of our own delivery service and this will also go in a long way to provide employment opportunities for our potential service providers, he said.



Q. From ride sharing to food delivery, how is Uber empowering consumers of Colombo?

A. The thought process behind the Uber Eat app is to ensure customer satisfaction. We were considering the fact that what else we could get involved away from logistics. The thought process included consumer patterns and movements.

Uber Eats started in 2014 as a small delivery pilot in Los Angeles and launched as a separate application in Toronto in December 2015. Since then, it has grown incredibly fast, and is now a stand-alone app available in 250 plus cities around the globe.

The app ensured that customers press a button and get his food ordered. We consider being in Colombo to be a right decision. The business in Colombo is sure to expand in next to no time.

The app which is user friendly and a convenient way of ordering food will be welcomed by the market, the same way as Uber rides was. It is a known fact that Sri Lankans are good adopters and tech savvy. Therefore, this experience will give them a new dimension in their food culture.

Q. How will it change the consumer and restaurant landscape

A. The main idea in coming to Colombo was to make the city better with Uber Eats concept. The conventional way of eating out is slowly phasing out. It is being replaced by ordering food by staying in the comfort of one’s home.

This is where we make our presence felt. We have partnered over 150 leading and famous restaurants in Colombo to provide our service. We have tied up with over 150,000 restaurants worldwide in our network.

We are a fast growing entity. Our concept of access to food for every one in a comfortable manner will be well accepted in Colombo.

The app will increase revenue while reducing cost of people and real estate cost.

It will create a trend where restaurants will be able increase their revenue with the growing clientele who do not even visit them. The food demand is expected to grow and there is an opportunity for more restaurants to come up. This will bring more business for us as well. The Uber Eats delivery network will also help generating employment for those who are interested in joining us on their own terms of employment.

The app will also change the restaurant space as it will have more space for kitchen and smaller space for dining customers with the popularity it gains with time. We expect more restaurants to come on to our platform as in the case of other countries and will register tremendous growth in business. Among the tie-up restaurants are Harpos, Paan Paan and Shushi and a number of other restaurants will join us soon.

We have a standard contract and as per the agreement the profits will be shared. The on-board restaurants will be tested to ensure that the app is in place and the staff will be given a basic training on the process. We will also take photographs of the food items and posted along with the menu to make it more appealing.

Q. Tell us something about Uber Eats’ global presence?

A. The largest Uber Eat app in the world is outside China. The response is overwhelming and encouraging. The chain of restaurants is growing extremely rapidly. We have our presence in many countries numbering over thirty including Japan, South Korea and Latin America to name a few.

Q. How does Uber Eats help the restaurant industry?

A. We are going live in small areas in Colombo to ensure that we bring a world class experience. Our delivery promise is under 35 minutes. This will be kept all the time. We will have similar experience to build in Colombo, Kollupitiya, Wellawatte, Borella and Cinnomon Gardens. We will add more restaurants as we go along.

We will select the right set of restaurants to give our Uber Eats experience to discerning customers. As we are a world-class entity, we will provide the customers with the lowest price in delivery. There will be no delivery chargers when we go live at the end of the month.

We will work behind the rationale of best experience, best selection of restaurants and best value at the lowest delivery fee. With the launch of the app, a lot of data applications will come in to play. There will be three apps to coordinate the entire service from the ordering point to delivery point. The Uber Eats app has been evolved on many aspects over the last three years and will be launching in more and more countries.

Q. What are the upcoming initiatives and expansion plans for Sri Lanka and Colombo in particular?

A. Uber Riders is well accepted in the Sri Lankan market. Our latest initiative Uber Tuk Tuk is growing at a phenomenal rate. The increase in smartphones and data penetration has compliment the increase use of Uber app. As Uber Eats will be launch under the Uber brand and its synergies will be use to develop the Uber Eats business. We are confident that every one in Colombo will try our app to order food which will be delivered under 35 minutes. We hope to make our service “wow Colombo” with the experience we plan to introduce. With time the adopters will increase as globally Uber Riders was the first adopters of the Uber app and is a fast growing venture.

However, we do not have immediate plans to spread our service in outside Colombo. We will consider entering in to key cities according to the response we receive for our Colombo operations.

Q. How do you view the Sri Lankan market?

A. We have been experiencing the Sri Lankan market with our initial venture. Uber Rides business is three years old. We consider the Colombo’s food culture to be the best in the world.

The city has a very amazing food culture. The number of restaurants is booming and the country has a thriving tourism industry which supports the food industry. With the growing number of restaurants eating out has become the norm. However, Colombo has not seen this before. The potential customers can view their food order where over 100 restaurants will offer their products in the app.

This will be as same as visiting a restaurant and ordering food. Due to high demand for restaurant foods, it was proper for us to enter in to the Sri Lankan market at this point of time.

We have a network of over 10 countries in Asia including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and India. We are really excited about coming to Sri Lanka and have received overwhelming responses from our restaurant partners.

The end to end customer experience will be different in our service. The restaurants will have the power of being able to use this platform. We not only have male delivery partners, but women delivery partners with two wheelers as well in our system. We have empowered them and open up more flexible working terms and good income for them.

A hundred plus restaurant partners have already registered with us to take the Uber Eats app to the Sri Lankan market.