Source: Uber Eats official twitter handle

Uber Eats, Cafe Coffee Day Tie Up To Create Largest Virtual Restaurant Network

Uber Eats said on Friday it has joined hands with Cafe Coffee Day to launch India's largest virtual restaurant network, a move that will help Uber's food delivery unit to compete aggressively against rivals like FoodPanda, Swiggy and Zomato.

Uber Eats will provide CCD with data, analytics and insights around popular food and cuisines.

This will enable both entities to launch menu offerings based on evolving consumer trends for multiple delivery-only “virtual restaurants”.

The first of such brands is expected to be launched in November in 10 CCD cafes in Bengaluru and then expanded to over 1,700 outlets of the cafe chain nationally.

Virtual restaurants are digital-only eateries that allow business owners to explore new culinary options and test them in a nimble manner across customers.

"Using experience and lessons learnt in the virtual restaurant space from our global operations, we hope to provide our Indian restaurant partners greater growth opportunities,” Jason Droege, Vice President of UberEverything at Uber Technologies, told reporters. “Our customers too will enjoy ordering and eating their favourite everyday meals at the tap of a button."

He added that Uber Eats has been working with a number of establishments globally for virtual restaurants. These include the likes of MIA Wings (VR brand for Venezia Pizza in Miami), Le Pita Bar (for La Fabrique Sucree in Quebec City), and Co5 (for Co Nam in San Francisco).

The companies declined to comment on the financial details of the partnership.

On being asked about the partnership, CCD Chief Executive Officer Venu Madhav said: "Idea is to create brands specially for Uber Eats, which would be different from cafe menu. We are just in the process of launching it."

CCD would launch its first brand by the first week of November and there would be multiple brands based on the needs, which come in, he added.

India is one of the fastest growing markets for Uber's food delivery platform. Launched 18 months ago in India, the food delivery service is available in 37 Indian cities compared to 31 cities where it operates its ride business.

"We are really excited about as how far we have got so far in last 18 months...Uber Eats is a very hyperlocal business, which means you have to serve neighbourhood areas...If it is to get from 37 cities to 50 or 100, so be it and we would do that but we would look opportunities in terms of neighbourhood, we could serve in the country," said Uber Eats India and South Asia Head Bhavik Rathod when asked about Uber Eats' expansion plans in India.

Uber Eats was started in 2014 as a small delivery pilot in Los Angeles and was later launched as a separate mobile app in Toronto in December 2015. The US-based company has been aggressively investing in its Uber Eats business globally. It has previously stated that Uber Eats is growing 200 per cent per year and has a $6 billion run rate.