This story was updated March 8, 2018, at 10:17 p.m. with more information.
With parts of M.L. King Boulevard slated to close temporarily this month to be narrowed from four to three lanes, one of the most popular restaurants on the boulevard was looking for a way to deliver more of its dinner favorites to those who might have trouble visiting in person.
So Champy's on M.L. King quickly signed on to the newest — and what could soon become the most popular — of a growing number of restaurant delivery services operating in Chattanooga.
How Uber Eats works
› Download the app or head to www.UberEATS.com
› Pick delivery location - Input your address where you’d like your meal delivered
› Browse local restaurants or search by cuisine type to find exactly what you are craving
› Place your order - Pick the items you want right now or schedule your order to the arrive whenever is most convenient for you
› Track the progress of the delivery - Get updates as your order is prepared and delivered to your destination
On Thursday, Uber Eats began delivery service from Champy's and more than 70 other local restaurants using its team of Uber drivers.
"There may not be as many people who can get to our restaurant while the road work goes on so this is a great way to reach more customers," Champy's General Manager Corrie Hill said Thursday. "We've already had several Uber orders and deliveries, and given the popularity of Uber, I think this will be a great addition for us."
Uber Eats, a 3-year-old offspring of the ride-sharing Uber service, already makes restaurant dinner deliveries in more than 200 markets around the globe. Local restaurants signed up for Uber Eats include Terminal Brewhouse, Beast + Barrel Gastro Smokehouse, IL Primo, The Bitter Alibi, and Puckett's.
For a $4.99 booking fee, plus gratuity, Uber Eats will deliver food and other items to your home in an average of 35 minutes after you place an order. In most instances, the menu items offered for delivery are similar to those sold at each restaurant, although some prices may be a bit higher when delivered.
"The Uber Eats app is free to download and has been built specifically to make getting great food as easy as getting a ride," Uber spokeswoman Evangeline George said in an announcement of the new service in Chattanooga. "Uber Eats offers a convenient way for people to get the food they love; opens up new economic opportunities for driver partners; and enables restaurants and chefs to connect with more customers."
Uber is the biggest and best known ride sharing and taxi-style transportation service and Uber's entry into the restaurant delivery market is likely to both propel and shake up the food delivery market that already includes Dinner Delivered, WAITR, Grubhub, My Town 2 Go, and BringMeThat, along with several individual pizza and restaurant delivery options in Chattanooga.
"Uber is a really well known company so I expect it will do very well," said Bethany Norwood , manager at the Terminal Brewhouse on Market Street. "We're still getting our guests in the building, but these services like Uber and Dinner Delivered help us reach those who might not be able or wanting to come in through our doors."
George said Uber Eats provides Uber drivers with another flexible earning opportunities, enabling them to spend less time idle and more time on the road making money. For restaurant partners, Uber Eats effectively expands their capacity and reach to be able to serve a whole new network of potential customers.
To use the new service, consumers can open the UberEATS app on their phone or go head to UberEATS.com. Chattanooga residents can enter the promotion code CHATTANOOGAEATS in the app to receive a $5 discount on their first two orders.
Restaurants participating in program offer different meals at varying prices on the Uber Eats app and the prices and offers on the Uber Eats website and in the Uber Eats app may differ from prices and offers in the restaurant.
Uber is the second new restaurant delivery service to enter the Chattanooga market this month. WAITR, an app that lets users order from local restaurants for the cost of the food and a flat $5 fee, launched on March 1 in Chattanooga.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-6340.