Within the next three months, Johannesburg was going to become the 13th city in the world where Uber’s food-delivery company, UberEats, would be launched, Uber managing director for sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits said this week.
The launch was likely to take place before December this year, he said during an interview on the sidelines of the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit in Johannesburg.
Uber first launched in South Africa in 2013.
“Johannesburg will be the first city where we launch in South Africa. We do have plans to launch in Cape Town.
“Once we open in Johannesburg, in a later wave, we will expand the product offering to Pretoria. Thereafter, we will explore launches in our other [local] cities,” Lits said.
When UberEats is launched in Johannesburg, it will at first be focused on a small area, but over time, the aim is for UberEats to be available throughout the city.
Uber wants a large variety of local food partners to be included in its UberEats app.
“We want optionality on the application. You should be able to open up the application and find your favourite restaurant.
“It is geo-located, so if you are in Sandton and your favourite restaurant is in Braamfontein, you may not be able to select it.
“Based on location, hopefully you will be able to find all your favourite restaurants ... We want a variety of food options to be available,” Lits said.
“We have had huge demand from restaurant partners looking to join the application,” he added.
UberEats is already available in 29 cities, including 21 major US cities, three key Canadian centres, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, London, Paris and Singapore. The food-delivery app was first launched in August 2014.
Lits said that in the coming months, UberEats was set to launch in a further 20 cities, including Johannesburg.
“The restaurants that are on the application [elsewhere in the world] are seeing higher revenue.”
On its website, Uber has been advertising for UberEats operations managers in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as UberEats restaurant partnerships managers in both cities.
Lits said that the next disruptive venture that Uber was looking into was UberPool, which allows those looking for a ride to share trips.
Driverless cars was another venture that Uber was working on.
Lits said that within five to 10 years, driverless cars could be commercialised. UberPool wouldn’t be launched in South Africa this year, he said.