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Uber launched a new food delivery service in D.C. today that promises select dishes from popular spots like Rasika and Bub and Pop’s in a mere 10 minutes. I tried UberEats out today and got my food in only seven.
Of course, it was more like 21 minutes if you count the four failed attempts I made beginning at 11:30 a.m. The app—the same used to request a car—informed me no drivers were available because “demand is off the charts.”
But on my fifth attempt, the order went through, and the driver, only a few minutes away, immediately called me to confirm which side of the street I’d be on. In order to deliver so fast, the drivers already have the food in their vehicles, and the service only offers a few dishes each day. Today, the offerings were limited to an Italian hoagie from Bub and Pop’s, the Beatrix burrito-sized sushi roll from Buredo, and chicken tikka masala from Rasika. I ordered all three.
The dishes will rotate each day. Later this week, look out for specials from Bread Furst, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., DGS Delicatessen, and Taylor Gourmet, among others. For now, the delivery is limited to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and only available in Dupont Circle, downtown D.C., and Capitol Hill.
The delivery is a flat $3 no matter how much you order. The fee is waived for the launch this week. The app doesn’t allow you a tip, either. A spokesman for Uber says the best way to thank your driver is with a five-star rating.
My driver told me he’d picked up the food only 10 minutes prior and had six of every dish on him (each packed in large insulated bags). The drivers go through batches, and when they run out, they restock.
How did my food hold up? Very well. Only the Italian hoagie was a little soggy on the bottom. Buredo is directly across the street from Washington City Paper‘s office, and strangely, I’ve waited far longer standing in line than I did ordering through UberEats.
Unlike other Uber gimmicks (like puppies on demand), UberEats is not a one-off stunt. It’s already in seven other cities in the U.S. and internationally, and it will continue to be a permanent feature of the app in D.C.
Like Uber, UberEats looks like it will be the next thing we’re all spending way too much money on.
Take a look at today’s delivery below.
Photos by Jessica Sidman