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Uber, the successful ride-hailing service that has raised the ire of Montreal’s taxi industry, is moving into the food delivery business.

UberEATS is an app that allows Montrealers to order meals, desserts and late-night snacks from more than 100 restaurants. Here is some information about the service, launched here on Wednesday, that’s available in 76 cities around the world.

*How does UberEATS work?

Customers download the app, then search the list of restaurants before placing a food order. A $4.99 delivery fee goes to UberEATS. A restaurant employee sees the order on an iPad and prepares the food. A delivery person, either an Uber driver or a bike courier, collects the food from the restaurant and delivers it to the customer. UberEATS said the meal should arrive at a customer’s door no more than 35 minutes after the order is placed.

*Benefits for restaurants

Alex Bastide, the owner of L’Gros Luxe on Notre Dame St. W., said signing up with UberEATS will allow him to reach new customers, increase his revenue and market his restaurant.

He already uses food delivery services like Foodora and À la Carte Express, but said he joined UberEATS because of Uber’s popularity in Montreal and great customer service. “They are on top of their game, I had to go with them,” Bastide said. “The delivery is about five per cent of business, so anything extra is gravy. It’s tough out there and anything extra helps.”

UberEATS will also help smaller restaurants that can’t afford to rent a car, pay insurance or hire a driver to deliver food to customers who want to eat at home, he said.

*Benefits for customers

UberEATS says customers can use the app to eat their favourite meals at home or at the office. The interactive app allows customers to follow every step of the process from the moment the food is ordered to when the delivery person arrives. The app also allows customers to place orders up to one week in advance. Customers can try out new restaurants that they hadn’t heard of, said Greg Perowne, manager of UberEATS in Montreal.

*Benefits for Uber

UberEATS will receive a commission from restaurants based on a percentage of sales on the app. The food delivery business allows Uber to use the network of private vehicles at its disposable to make deliveries. It will also use bike couriers in areas of Montreal where there’s a lot of construction or traffic congestion to make sure the orders arrive on time. Montreal is a bike friendly city and the partnership will allow bike couriers to earn extra money, Perowne said.

*Facts about UberEATS

More than 100 restaurants have signed up to use the service in Montreal.

At present, the boundaries for the service are roughly between the St. Lawrence River and St-Laurent and from Montreal West to Rosemont and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. UberEATS also operates in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton.

Source: Montreal Gazette