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Coming to a town near you: Uber Eats spreads its wings into the regions

Statewide

Thousands of Australians living in regional centres will be able to order meals to their homes after Uber revealed plans to expand food-delivery services into more remote parts of the country.

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The tech giant, which operates the largest food-delivery platform in Australia, launched its service in seven regional towns this week, in addition to six added earlier this month.

The move comes after an e-commerce survey found online purchases in regional towns jumped during the past year and as another found more than seven million Australians regularly use meal-delivery services.

Regional towns to get access to Uber Eats for the first time include Gladstone in Queensland, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Burnie in Tasmania, Warragul in Victoria and a host of NSW locations inducing Bowral, Lismore, Tamworth and Coffs Harbour.

Uber Eats marketplace director Ed Kitchen said the towns were chosen for having a large population within a 30-minute delivery range of restaurants.

“We’ve seen cities where there is an under-served population and a growing restaurant base that are looking for the ability to drive e-commerce,” he said.

“We don’t think that metropolitan Australia should have a monopoly on convenience.”

Food from local restaurants and national chains would be offered on the platform first, Mr Kitchen said, before Uber added grocery deliveries from Coles, IGA and BP.

“We have plans to launch a number of new markets later this year,” he said.

“For us this is not job done.”

The food-delivery launches come after Australia Post’s Inside Australian Online Shopping Report found online purchases rose by 6.5 per cent in rural towns last year and 5.7 per cent in remote communities.

Market research firm Roy Morgan also found seven million Australians over the age of 14 use meal-delivery services in a three-month period, up from 3.6 million people in 2020.

But Australians living in capital cities were more likely to order meals to their homes, the company found, with 38 per cent using food-delivery services compared to 24 per cent in country areas.

 

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