Uber is diversifying its services in Costa Rica to food delivery on demand (comida express in Spanish), moving in on the local startup, GoPato, already specializing in the field.
Uber in Costa Rica will be launching soon UberEATS, a service that is already in 29 countries, including 3 countries in Latin America, with more than 65,000 partner restaurants.
Starting in November, when it completes putting together the UberEATS team and concreted alliances with restaurants, in conjunction with the transportation of people, the company will be providing the delivery of food.
The service will allow Uber users to order any food, dessert or drink from a specific restaurant from the application and receive it at the desired location from a UberEATS driver.
The promise is that the food will be delivered in 35 minutes or less. For customers the food will be delivered while still hot, for the restaurants implementing UberEATS it could mean increased overall sales, reducing costs by eliminating its delivery service and expanding their home delivery menu.
“Everything arrives faster because there will always be transportation units available, the order will not have to wait long in the restaurant, does not have to wait for a delivery person to finish the delivery of the previous order,” explained Francisco Sordo, head of UberEATS Latin America.
The great engine that could ensure the success at the start of this project is the number of drivers that UberEATS could have available since already there are 18,000 drivers that today carry people with the Uber app, that can also be available to deliver food.
Similarly, vehicles that did not qualify with Uber to transport people, such as motorcycles and bicycles, can now work with UberEATS.
While UberEATS works on getting ready, a local startup, GoPato, has been operating since the beginning of the year. The Costa Rican company started operations in 2015 running ‘errands’ through a group of ‘patos’ (ducks) for people who did not have time to do it themselves, like take a pet to the veterinarian or pay bills in person at the utility companies, for example.
Because the ‘patos’ began to largely deliver food from restaurants that did not offer ‘express’ (home delivery), the group decided to focus in that area.
At the moment the company has 50 restaurants signed up, among them Oliva Verde, La Fábrica, Fresh Market, Moyo, Imperial, Carls JR, Hooters, and La Cebichería.
“From a personal assistant (company) we evolved to this, specializing vertically with a specific model that is now the one that generates most revenue, giving the customer the ability to order food digitally and the restaurants to focus on the kitchen while we take care of the deliveries,” explained José Navarro, founder of GoPato.
Aware that UberEATS is close to starting in the country, the startup has already prepared several strategies to differentiate itself in the service.
The GoPato app allows customers to order food from the Facebook page of their favorite restaurant.
They are also working on a pilot project with McDonald’s to deliver ‘combos’ by way of drones, a project that would make them the only one in Latin America to make such deliveries.
As part of their growth program, the company will also provide their 300 strong GoPato team with bikes and electric motorcycles to try to cushion the environmental impact generated by their operations.