Uber to venture in food delivery in Kenya business

NAIROBI, KENYA: Uber is diversifying its Kenyan business to also do food deliveries in the coming weeks.

The company which launched its operations in Kenya three years ago said it will in a couple of weeks unveil Uber Eats in Nairobi in partnership with eateries to deliver food to Nairobians at their doorstep.

“After three years of making safe and affordable rides available at the touch of a button, Uber continues to invest in Kenya, we do so by offering more choice to our customers. We are currently piloting Uber Eats in Nairobi, and look forward to make the new app available to Nairobians soon.” Uber Spokesperson.

She said the new development is part of the firm’s strategy to ride on the internet in growing business and offering more choices to Kenyans.

Uber’s application is not new in Kenyan market where entrepreneurs are capitalizing on internet penetration to improve service delivery.

EatOut, Yum and HelloFood (now Jumia Food), were among the first to capitalise on the opportunities created by the Internet.

They allow customers to order for food via their apps, websites or by placing phone calls.

Both are in partnership with restaurants and other food outlets, which involve payment of a fee to be listed on these platforms.

Most outlets have been listed on such delivery platforms, providing their customers with different means of ordering food.

Through websites and social media platforms, delivery firms market food outlets by informing potential customers about offering of the various food outlets and how they can place an order.

Yum’s Social Media Manager Charles Maina says most food delivery orders are placed via the website rather than by phone - a proof that more people prefer to order digitally. The Director of Operations Charles Karanja cites high growth in business since Yum became operational in 2012.

“Initially, when we started, Kenyans were not open to the idea that you can stay at home and get your food... because they did not know where to order it and the price charged,” he explained.

Mr Karanja said online platforms have been key channels through which the firm has addressed misconceptions about how the process of ordering food online works, prompting more people to make online orders.

Restaurants share information such as their location, cuisines, special events, delivery arrangements, accepted payment modes, availability of parking slots and smoking areas among other information through their websites or platforms to remove any form of uncertainties.