Why Uber Eats Dropped "Instant Delivery" in New York City

Say goodbye to Midtown's instant lunch delivery.


Uber has changed the way people move around New York and last month the company launched a much-hyped UberEats service that offered food delivery, but that all ended on Monday: Uber announced in an email to UberEats NYC users that it will “no longer be offering a daily Instant Delivery lunch menu.”

UberEats debuted with fanfare in NYC on March 15. The app was separate from the regular Uber app, and gave users two options: regular delivery or instant delivery. Instant delivery set it apart from the many delivery apps already out there (Seamless, Caviar, Postmates, and DoorDash to name a few) in that a prix fixe lunch could be delivered in around 10 minutes. A revolving door of restaurants provided the food.

Instant Delivery was the stuff of dreams for the people who want their food and want it now — and who aren’t picky about what’s on the menu.

Here’s how Instant Delivery used to work: All of the day’s food designated for Instant Delivery was transported to a building in Midtown Manhattan. When someone placed an order on the app, an Uber delivery person would snag the food from the Midtown holding center, put the food in an insulated food delivery bag, and then bring the food to the user. It could even be brought curbside.

Instant Delivery was at the very top of the app, but the logistics weren’t clear. Uber didn’t specify during the launch how many orders could be delivered at a time, or how many prix fixe meals were available for order.

Uber representative Sarah Maxwell told Quartz, that Instant Delivery will still be available in the other UberEats markets of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. New Yorkers will, however, still be able to order from the 100-plus restaurants that partner with Uber for delivery. If, of course, the user is willing to wait normal delivery times.

Related Tags