Uber Eats wants to deliver food to more than 60 German cities

youBer Eats has big plans. After Delivery Hero leaves the German market, the delivery division of the American driving services group wants to expand significantly. “We started in Germany in May of last year, we are currently in 14 cities and we want to start in at least 50 other cities this year,” Eve Henrikson, new head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, told FAZ. “This means a new city almost every week”.

With this, Uber wants to thwart American competition from Doordash and Wolt, as well as Lieferando – these two and Uber Eats have largely shared the German food delivery business since the Berlin-based group left. The growth is expected to be successful with a combination of orders with restaurant delivery services and deliveries from the company’s logistics partners.

The focus should be on the latter. “Most, around 80% of deliveries, are made by drivers from our delivery partners,” promises Henrikson. This frees restaurants from the limited capacity of their own couriers and gives those who don’t have their own suppliers the opportunity to take food home.

Burger King, Starbucks, Subway – and Hans im Glück

He also sees the biggest growth opportunities for Uber in the logistics industry: “So far, deliveries by logistics companies have accounted for less than 10% of the market in Germany.” In Britain or France, this figure ranges from 40 to 60%. “So the potential is incredibly great.”

Customers are expected to order from around 2,000 restaurants that Uber has under contract. These include chains such as Burger King, Starbucks and Subway, but also smaller brands such as the “Hans im Glück” burger restaurants or the Berlin institution “Burgermeister”. The average turnaround time is between 30 and 35 minutes, says Henrikson. Uber’s focus on delivery is largely based on restaurant wishes. “We can see that our restaurant partners would very much like to have delivery via our logistics partners.”

The Uber model: partnership for everything

Uber does not employ couriers employed directly by the company, the company takes a different approach than Wolt and Lieferando, as it does for its driving service, where third-party companies carry passengers.

In Henrikson’s remarks, the word “partnership” comes up a lot: restaurant partners here, delivery partners there. This keeps the company flexible, because contracts with companies can be terminated more easily than contracts with employees. “We have the flexibility to adapt to a country. And that’s also one of the reasons we can be successful, ”says Henrikson.

So far, however, Uber hasn’t had to draw this card in Germany. Uber Eats’ growth points upwards across Europe: since the start of the pandemic, sales have tripled, in Germany, according to Henrikson, the app has the strongest growth of all suppliers. Furthermore, the food delivery division is profitable in the operating result deriving from the continuation of commercial activities, at least before taxes, interest, depreciation and special effects.

It is not obvious, even in this form, for delivery services: Delivery Hero has never made a profit on an organic basis and has just suffered a painful drop in its share price as its plans to achieve profitability have disappointed investors. .

“Europe plays an important role there,” says Henrikson of the profitability of his division. And although food delivery services in particular have recently attracted attention and the goal of many delivery companies is to offer an app where you can simply order everything for your daily needs, Uber in Germany continues to focus. on meal delivery.

Born in Saxony-Anhalt

“The main focus for us is the delivery of food,” says Henrikson. “We will have to see how it develops in terms of food delivery. We don’t have concrete plans yet, but we think demand will increase here too.” In France, for example, Uber offers a food delivery service in partnership with Carrefour.

Henrikson, 41, joined Uber last summer after six years as the online head of British supermarket chain Tesco. Despite her English sounding name, she is originally from Germany: she was born in Saxony-Anhalt in 1980.

After a double degree in Germany and England and first positions in the automotive industry and in fashion retail, he remains in Great Britain for personal reasons. Having spent her childhood in the GDR still shapes her, especially in e-commerce. She says: “I had a very different shopping experience as a child. It was much more limited. “

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