Hungry at work? The convenience of big city food delivery has arrived in Durango.
UberEats will deliver sandwiches, pizza or pancakes to your door. But it’ll cost you.
Last week, The Durango Herald staff tested the service that arrived in town in recent months and found food arrived warm and in good time. But the pricing was steep.
UberEats was launched in 2016 by Uber, a company known for a taxi service that can be ordered through a phone-based app.
The food delivery app is similar and allows customers to see what restaurants are available in each area and either order food immediately or set a time for delivery.
The UberEats app is available on smartphones and desktop computers and provides maps for consumers to track the progress of a food delivery driver in real time.
Restaurant options in Durango are currently limited to Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, Sonic, Denny’s, Subway, Papa Murphy’s and McDonald’s.
Denny’s breakfast Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon from Denny’s arrived in 30 minutes looking unscathed from their car ride. The meal was ordered on a phone app, and optional real-time notifications informed a Herald employee when the food was picked up from the restaurant and when it arrived.
The staffer didn’t have to pause to pay the delivery driver before rushing off to a meeting because UberEats accepts payment via the app. Napkins and utensils were included.
The food alone was $8.79. UberEats also charged a $3.49 delivery fee, $1.32 service fee and $2 fee because the order was under $10. After a $2 tip was added, the meal came to $18.29, or an extra $7.50 for the convenience of delivery, minus tip.
Delivery charges vary by how far away a restaurant is from the customer. The service fee is 15% of the total.
Sonic lunchA chili dog, burger and small order of fries from Sonic arrived warm 15 minutes after it was ordered. The hungry photographer who taste-tested the meal described it as “about the same as what you pick up in the drive-thru,” but the fries were “barely warm.”
The food by itself was $8.42. Additional fees brought the total to $16.30.
Barbecue lunchA pulled pork sandwich and a Texas taco from Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, arrived about 30 minutes after the order was placed from the restaurant on north Main Avenue.
“The sandwich was perfect,” a Herald editor said. It arrived with the cherry chipotle salsa and barbecue sauce listed on the menu.
The food alone was $16.90. The bill was $25.85 after service and delivery charges were added.
A business perspectiveSerious Texas Bar-B-Q Vice President Justin James said he was interested in contracting with UberEats to stay competitive.
“It’s just a sign of the times that people would rather pay more to have food at home or brought to them,” he said.
Serious Texas increased its pricing to cover the new service because UberEats charges both customers and restaurants for the cost of delivery and administration, he said. Serious Texas increased its prices on the UberEats app about 30% to cover those costs, he said. Prices in the restaurant have stayed the same, he said.
Serious Texas has participated in the service for about two months, James said.
Last week, the business filled about 12 UberEats orders, which James described as “a good start.”
UberEats orders come into the restaurant via a small tablet provided by UberEats, he said.
If the restaurant gets slammed, it can pause orders through the app, James said. That’s why even though six restaurants participate in UberEats in Durango, restaurants are sometimes listed as unavailable.
When UberEats drivers come into the store, meal orders are ready and no cash needs to be exchanged, he said.
“It’s pretty seamless,” James said.