Brunch

Should you try Uber Eats?

Top of the morning folks and a Happy New Year! After a break of two weeks, yours truly is back with his weekly tech rants and if you missed me; I blush. Hope you had an exciting year, as for me I ended up going all the way down South, trying to save a beached puffer fish, stepping on a bunch of delightful sea urchins, being rushed to a hospital in Galle, each spike being surgically removed, while a bunch of nurses watched the show like it was Mamma Mia!, and now in bed for the last week recovering from my purported act of bravery. Ok, before you forget this is a tech column, I shall stop my sob story as that was just context to the fact that since I had no way to driving or cooking, lo and behold my saviour; Uber Eats. Hence, I thought it apt to review the app that I have been avidly using for the past week and more.

Choices!!

We as a generation are progressing ever so rapidly, to being always hungry and our evolutionary habit of hunting has left us with a sense of wanting variety. This is the main unique selling point (USP) of Uber Eats. While many establishments in Colombo offer a delivery option, Uber Eats aggregates all of it in one place. Open the app and you will have cravings for a delicacy you never thought you had. While currently at the point of review, delivery is available for most parts of Colombo extending up to Ratmalana in the South, Battaramulla in the East, and Fort in the North. Once you enter your address, the app will prompt you if you are in a serviceable area. And as any rollout, we can just imagine this extending in the coming few months.

UI and UX

The app was tested on both Android and IOS; both apps seem identical, with the IOS app being that bit more smooth as usual. And for some reason, I kept going back to the app on my iPad, because it seemed easier and far more pleasing to the eye. Firstly, I am not a great fan of the user interface (UI) with a slider at the top announcing app news like discounts etc. The design seems dated and not in line with the newer app designs we saw even in 2018. Do not get me wrong, it is functional and this is where UX (user experience) comes to play. They have nailed this by listing the restaurants closest to you; hence at a glance you know who can send you food under 25 minutes, because obviously waiting longer than that for food is diabolical in this day and age.

This is followed by recommended dishes, again making your tough choice of what to eat easier. Here, the app uses past order data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to guess what grub you dig. Swipe right and you will be greeted with a categorisation page where every cuisine is listed. Some of these listings are a hit or a miss, as I think Uber Eats has allowed the restaurants to pick the cuisines they offer, and some of these establishments have just ticked every box without actually checking the menu. Search works, equally well and unlike most of my friends, I generally know exactly what I want to order when I open the app, so if you are like me, just search for red rice and you’ll get it.

The verdict

Uber Eats is a welcome change albeit as Sri Lankans we are used to straggling far behind the Western world when it comes to tech rolling out. The app design can change a little, but it does what it sets out to do. For me, personally, I love the fact that the order status is updated real-time and there is nothing as satisfying as tracking your food coming to you on a Google map. Gone are the days where I called the restaurant to check why my order is late, or where in the world the delivery guy is.

It amalgamates to your existing Uber account, so all your Credit Card details are imported and you can order away. In this, Uber Eats solves another problem of payment, no longer do you need to fumble for cash or give your card to be swiped by those mobile payment gizmos, just go to the gate, get your food, flash your brightest smile, and return. Also for those prehistoric Sri Lankans who still do not want to enter their Card details on apps, there is a cash-on-delivery option, so ya stop complaining.

In a nutshell, go download the app it will make your life easier, if you do, my only word of caution is that I hope you will stick to that illusive New Year’s resolution of going to gym, because you will surely need it.

Jay out!

 

 

 

 


By Janeeth Rodrigo

Janeeth Rodrigo is the General Manager, Digital, of the Derana Media network. He is also the General Manager of IdeaHell, the first and only YouTube MCN and Creator Space in Sri Lanka.

Facebook: facebook.com/janeethrodrigo
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