No transportation, no problem: New options bring meals to your door

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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UberEATS comes to Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ride-sharing service Uber has launched its food delivery service in Dayton, UberEATS — adding to a growing number of services that let hungry customers enjoy food from their favorite restaurants without ever even stepping out of their homes.

Online food delivery platforms like UberEATS, DoorDash and Grubhub are expanding across the United States, allowing people to order food with just a tap of their phone.

It’s a high-potential industry for delivery startups and restaurants alike. Investment firm Cowen predicted a 79 percent increase in the total food home delivery market in the next five years in the U.S. Cowen predicts that Grubhub will reach 22 percent annual revenue growth in the next five years.

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The trend is already impacting the Dayton region. UberEATs will offer food delivery services every day of the week from more than 30 restaurant locations in the Dayton area. Restaurants include Graeter’s Ice Cream, Hot Head Burritos, Piada, Melt Bar and Grilled and more.

“We’re thrilled to launch today in Dayton to connect local residents and visitors with new, tasty options, add new earning opportunities for driver-partners and help local restaurant owners expand the reach of their business,” said Berry Kennedy, general manager for UberEATS Ohio.

For now UberEATS will launch in downtown Dayton and surrounding neighborhoods, as well as Riverside, Beavercreek, Centerville and West Carrollton. The company says it plans to expand to other locations in the future.

To use the service, customers download the free UberEATS app on their smartphone, where they can order food from selected restaurants and track where the delivery driver is at along the way. The delivery service is $4.99, plus the amount that the food costs. First-time eaters can get $5 off their first two orders with promo code DAYTONEATS.

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It’s bringing more job opportunities to the region too, as Uber is hiring additional delivery drivers for the service, Kennedy told this news organization. UberEATS is already available in 100 cities, including Cincinnati and Columbus.

DoorDash expanded to the Dayton area in September, offering free delivery service the first week as part of an introductory promotion.

DoorDash describes itself as "on-demand company connecting customers with their favorite restaurants." It has entered into agreements with some restaurant chains, but it does not limit delivery options to those business partners. In the Dayton area, it lists several dozen restaurants as available for its delivery services.

The company does not employ its drivers directly, instead using independent contractors to serve as delivery drivers.

The DoorDash web site lists as part of its coverage area Dayton and some of its populous suburbs such as Beavercreek, Centerville, Kettering, Fairborn, and Miamisburg, as well as Butler County areas such as Hamilton and Middletown. DoorDash officials said they'll be expanding the delivery service's footprint to cover more of the Dayton metropolitan area.

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Other independent, locally owned businesses have gotten in on the food trend too. Kate’s Plate offers local, organic food prepared and delivered to customers’ doors in time for dinner. Kate Kennard, a Centerville resident, launched her business three years ago. Two-portion meals are $16 per person, and four-portion meals are $14 per person. Customers can order meals like spicy black bean burgers, avocado BLT salad, carnitas street tacos and cauliflower rice summer skillet.

“Every week, we deliver or you can pick it up locally,” she said. “My whole entire goal is to make it easier to eat well and fresh. And if delivery makes it easier for people do that, then that’s the model we’ll use.”

Staff Writer Mark Fisher contributed to report.

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