Uber Eats goes up against Ritual, brings new pickup feature to Toronto


Starting today, Uber Eats, Uber’s on-demand food delivery service, will begin piloting its new “Pickup” service in Toronto. The feature, allowing customers to “skip the line” when ordering food, is very similar to Toronto-based Ritual‘s offering.

Although Ritual has released a series of other services, its baseline offering is almost indistinguishable from that of Uber Eats’ Pickup.

Uber’s product function allows customers to place orders right through the app and receive notifications when their food is ready for pickup. Toronto restaurants like Magic Noodle, The Halal Guys, Basil Box, Sweet Jesus, Burrito Boys, and Bombay Roti are some of the restaurants signed onto the pilot. Uber said the pickup feature will benefit the restaurant partner, through reduced service fees, increased awareness through the platform, and deeper analytics about customers.

“With over 600 Toronto restaurants participating in the Pickup pilot, grabbing takeout from your favourite spots in Toronto is about to become a whole lot quicker,” the company stated.

Ritual, first launched in Toronto in 2014, provides consumers with a solution to order and pick up coffee and lunches, allowing them to bypass the lines at restaurants. Although Ritual has released a series of other services, like group orders, loyalty programs, and order “piggybacking,” its baseline service is almost indistinguishable from Uber Eats’ Pickup.

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In May 2016, Ritual claimed that it had ousted Starbucks as the largest food and beverage loyalty program in Toronto, servicing 500 locations in the city at the time. It now claims to work with over 2,500 restaurants globally. This year, Ritual plans to launch in many cities in North America, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver and 18 cities in the US including Austin, Detriot, Miami, Nashville, and New Orleans. Ritual also recently expanded into the UK and Australia, with further plans to move into Europe.

In August, Uber Eats launched in 30 communities across Canada including Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Halifax, and Victoria. The service first arrived in Toronto in May 2015, making Toronto Uber Eats’ the first city in Canada and the fourth city in North America.

Uber also recently announced plans to open an engineering hub in Toronto, as part of a five-year $200 million investment aimed to help grow Toronto’s tech ecosystem. The new site will mark its 11th engineering hub worldwide and the first in Canada.

Uber Eats’ Pickup is set to roll out over the next two weeks.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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