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Uber expands its restaurant-delivery service, puts food center stage

Uber’s food-delivery service, UberEATS, will expand to the Austin, Texas, market this week, providing area residents with the ability to order curated menu items from local eateries using the same cashless-payment system used for Uber car rides.

Prior to this expansion, UberEATS’ U.S. service was limited to Chicago and New York City; however, the Austin market is proving to be an attractive option for third-party food-delivery services seeking growth.

Groupon recently announced plans to roll out its restaurant-delivery service, Groupon To Go, in Austin this fall. The service, which is currently available in Chicago only, made its official debut last month, following the daily deal site’s acquisition of food-delivery startup OrderUp.

Uber has poised its restaurant-delivery service for further growth with an app update quietly introduced in major cities this week. While the old version of Uber’s app buried its food-ordering option at the bottom of the interface—alongside Uber’s many ride-hailing options—it’s now at the top of the screen, according to analysts at Cowen and Company, giving meal delivery equal weight to ride hailing.

Job postings on Uber’s website suggest that the service will soon be moving into the Miami, San Diego, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Nashville and Philadelphia markets. 

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