Above: This sushi selection and bento box combo from Sakari Sushi Lounge arrived in just over a half-hour via UberEats.
By Wini Moranville
The restaurant food delivery service UberEats made its Des Moines debut last week, so I gave it a go. Here’s what I found out:
Who’s in? UberEats will deliver food from a number of local restaurants that have signed on. Depending on their operating hours, available restaurants include Sakari Sushi Lounge, Eat Thai, Hagar’s Manhattan Deli, Big City Burgers and Greens, Fong’s Pizza, SpicePots, Cool Basil, the Iowa Taproom, Vivian’s Diner and Drinks, Gazali’s, Abelardo’s Mexican Restaurant, Crème Cupcake and Desserts, the Royal Mile, and other mostly local, mostly casual restaurants.
For my experiment, I chose Sakari Sushi, because it was nearby and I felt the food would travel well.
Timing: The transaction was as seamless as I’ve come to expect with Uber. Here’s how it rolled:
- 11:48 a.m.: Downloaded the app. This took about 72 seconds.
- 12:03 p.m.: Placed my first order with Uber Eats. This took 14 minutes: 13 for me to choose what I wanted to eat and 45 seconds to actually place the order. The estimated arrival time was 12:33.
- 12:30: It dawned on me that the “arrival” time is the time that the car will arrive at the restaurant and pick up the food, not the time that it will be delivered to me. I was getting perilously close to being hangry. Duly noted for future orders.
- 12:32 p.m.: One minute early, the app notified me that the food had been picked up at the restaurant and would be at my door in eight minutes.
- 12:38: Like clockwork, the car pulled up at my door.
Results: The food was fresh and thoughtfully packaged. Cool food was cool, and warm food was warmish—I did end up reheating the soup and the vegetable main dish, since the microwave was so handy.
The cost: The cost of the meal ($24 for two of us), plus tax ($1.44), plus a booking fee of $5.99. I tipped the driver in cash, though you can do this via the app after the order is delivered.
The bottom line? I could see this becoming a habit.
Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.