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Postmates launches new quick-delivery lunch service

Postmates will be going up against Uber and Square, who have also gotten into this space

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 6, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4087

One of the unintended consequences of everything going mobile has been a real lack of patience for getting things we want. If it can't come right now, and I mean RIGHT NOW, then we don't want it.

That's probably most true when we are hungry. There's nothing worse than wanting to eat but having nothing around. In those cases waiting an hour for delivery can be torture.

That has led to the rise of on-demand lunch services over the last couple of years, which promise to get food over in less than 30 minutes. That includes Sprig, DoorDash, Bento and others.

Now you can add another one to that list: Postmates, which announced a new quick delivery lunch service called Postmates Pop on Tuesday.

The company says it will deliver food within 15 minutes, and that is is able to do so because its couriers won't be picking up the food, or waiting for it to be cooked. Rather they will already have the pre-made food ready to be dropped off as soon as it is ordered.  This has worked so well, in fact, that Postmates has been averaging delivery time of 7 minutes during its initial tests.

Postmates Pop will offer a rotating menu of curated food offered from the company's over 3,000 in-network merchants.

The service this reminds me of most is SpoonRocket, a company that offers four fresh cooked food meals per day (two vegetarian, and two non-vegetarian) that are priced at $8 apiece. The company is able to deliver the food in 10 minutes or less, as all the food is produced in-house and drivers are able to carry around meals for multiple customers at once. The company raised $11 million last year. 

I imagine, though, that Postmates has two other, bigger sights in mind: Uber and Square, both of which have made moves into this space over the last couple of years.

In February Uber launched UberEATS, a slightly rebranded version of UberFresh, the food delivery pilot program for users in certain sections of Santa Monica, California that Uber launched in August of last year. 

It allows user to order from a prix fixe menu, which includes items from local restaurants such as Tender Greens, 41 Ocean, and Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery. Each meal costs $12, and is delivered in around 10 minutes. Also, there is no delivery fee. With the service Uber says it can deliver meals in 10 minutes.

Square, meanwhile, launched Square Order, an app that allows users to order food in advance from cafes and restaurants and then pick them up without having to wait in line, in May of last year. It then bought food delivery company Caviar in August.

In April of this year Square purchased Fastbite and integrated it with Caviar to create Caviar Fastbite, which delivers $15 meals in 15 minutes.

Postmates Pop is priced competitively against those two services, with a $1.99 flat delivery fee on top of $10 for the meal itself.

What is currently lacks right now is the geographical advantage that Uber and Square have. In addition to the LA-area, UberEATS has also been expanded  to Chicago, Toronto, Austin and New York City. Caviar Fastbite can deliver from restuants in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Manhattan, Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area (including East Bay & South Bay), Seattle, Portland and Washington D.C.

Postmates Pop is only available in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, and only from 11 am until supplies right now, but the company is "expecting a rapid expansion into other geographies and hours."

One day we will tell our children tales of having to sit around, waiting for our lunch to be delivered and they won't believe it.

VatorNews has reached out to Square and Uber for comment. We will update this story if we learn more.

(Image source: blog.postmates.com)


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