On Tuesday, you’ll be able to eat a burger from Shake Shake Shake, a brick oven-baked calzone from Paesan and sushi from Trapper’s.
At the same time.
And you won’t have to ditch your pajamas or your living room.
But you will need a device that downloads the UberEats app.
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UberEats officially launches in the Tacoma area Tuesday. Several restaurant owners confirmed a “soft” rollout was to begin Friday and continue through the weekend.
But many said they will not participate or participate minimally until the full launch Tuesday. While users might see the app live and working this weekend, it might not have every restaurant participating just yet.
The nationwide delivery service capitalizes on the vast network of drivers who work for Uber, the ride-hailing app. UberEats is a separately operated app, but has a similar interface.
Uber drivers will pick up the food and deliver it for a fee. That fee will be $3.99, although for a limited time after the launch, the fee will be waived, said Uber spokesperson Nathan Hambley.
Will there be surge pricing or special charges during busier times?
“For UberEats, there may be a small ‘busy area fee’ applied only to certain restaurants in busy areas,” Hambley said. “Typically, if you don’t want to pay the busy fee, you can find another restaurant that doesn’t have it.”
He said the company doesn’t release the number of restaurants that participate, but he described it in the “triple digits.”
Restaurants from Frederickson to Tacoma have signed up.
“Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup and surrounding cities like Parkland, South Hill and Fife as well as a number of smaller municipalities” are participating, he said.
Restaurants and the delivery range might be limited depending on where a diner is.
“The best way to find out if (UberEats) is available in a particular area is to simply download the app and see if there are any active delivery options that show up,” Hambley said.
Restaurants that participate might set limitations. They have the option to block specific service hours during times when they’re typically busy. In some cases, restaurants plan to offer a slice of their regular menu.
Tung Tran, owner of Tacoma’s Miyabi, a restaurant serving sushi and a wide range of Japanese cuisine, said he’ll offer his full menu (minus the restaurant’s hot pot, for obvious reasons).
He said he’s looking forward to using the service to have his food available for delivery for the first time in Tacoma. He’s worried about the costs he’ll have to absorb — UberEats charges a commission to restaurants using the service — but ultimately hopes to increase his customers and make up for those expenses.
“I think this service will help to increase our overall sales number, but I hope UberEats will work with local restaurants to lower their commission because I think once this service becomes successful, other delivery services will start showing up in Tacoma and it will definitely drive some competition,” Tran said.
Fledgling food delivery services have operated in the region, but none has stuck.
Several restaurant owners commented that they think UberEats will be different because of the company’s built-in base of drivers. Plus, the liability is lowered for restaurants because someone else is doing the driving.
“We had always wanted to be able to deliver, but the logistics in doing so are difficult in terms of staffing, the transportation, insurance, etc.,” Steve Naccarato, co-owner of Stadium’s Shake Shake Shake, said in December, when he signed up his burger-and-fries restaurant.
“We don’t have those barriers with UberEats.”