Arts & Culture

Uber Eats hits Halifax streets

Food delivery just got more accessible for students

Uber Eats hits Halifax streetsphoto by : Qendresa Sahiti
written by Anastasia Payne
October 1, 2018 1:31 pm

Put your sweatpants on and settle in for a relaxing evening of Netflix and chill because Uber Eats is here and you may never have to leave the house for food again.  

Launched on Aug. 23, Halifax is the first city in the Maritimes to offer the Uber Eats service. 

Simon Brown, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, says that the company is impressed with how the people of Halifax have embraced the service. In addition to positive reactions from customers, Brown says Uber Eats has also recruited over 100 drivers for the service.  

With over 70 restaurants signed up as of Aug. 22, Uber Eats has something for everyone.  

Dalhousie University student, Noah Yao is currently working a co-op position where he says that during late nights in the office, he and his co-workers have often ordered from companies such as SkipTheDishes 

“More competition might create better prices for us, instead of SkipTheDishes feeling like they just have this area,” says Yao.  

He also notes that Uber Eats’ free delivery promotion plays a large part in encouraging people to order from them over Skip.  

Yao isn’t the only one excited about the launch of Uber Eats. Johnathan Cannon, a co-founder of Room Service, says that he’s excited to see how Uber Eats can help the delivery service industry grow in Halifax. 

Room Service is a delivery-based convenience store that launched a year before Uber Eats, on Aug. 23, 2017. Cannon owns and operates the business with his two brothers and his father. He thinks that companies like Room Service, SkipTheDishes and Uber Eats are just the beginning of the industry’s growth.  

“There’s no question that we compete against them, but I don’t think that it’s a threat. I think that we’re different enough that we can live harmoniously,” says Cannon.  

He says that in today’s fast-paced world, with technology increasingly allowing work to follow us home, people seem to value their time more, making people more willing to pay to have something delivered to their door.  

Although Skip didn’t have a spokesperson available for an interview they offered an email statement saying, “SkipTheDishes welcomes competition in Halifax, and we look forward to continuing to demonstrate why Skip is Canada’s favourite food delivery company. SkipTheDishes partners with 70 diverse restaurants on the network in Halifax, and growing.” 

Chris Bowness, a driver for Uber Eats, says that the company has been kept busy. He says there’s been a lot of interest from university students, with several of his deliveries going to campus on the weekend. He says there also seems to be a market among single parents who may not have time to pick food up.  

Bowness, who also has a full-time job, signed up to be a driver for SkipTheDishes too but says that Uber Eats’ flexible scheduling and lack of personal costs made him choose to deliver there over SkipTheDishes. 

SkipTheDishes requires all drivers to carry $60 in cash and purchase a $75 warming bag to deliver for them.  

But, according to Bowness, Ubers choose-when-you-work style of scheduling has caused some problems with the company struggling to meet the demands for deliveries at times, such as forcing restaurants to discard food that was prepared when no driver could deliver. 

“The real true test will be after October 31 when they take away the free delivery promotion,” says Bowness, “Once that happens they’ll be able to see if people will pay the money to actually get the food.”

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