Uber brings Deliveroo-style UberEats service to UK

Uber is bringing its food delivery service UberEats to the UK, according to new reports.

The company is recruiting London-based bicycle and moped-mounted drivers for the expected rollout, including a 100 bonus for "delivery partners" signing up ahead of launch, Buzzfeed reports.

UberEats is already operating in 16 major cities, most of which are located in the US, and forms one of Uber's numerous alternative businesses alongside its primary ridesharing model.

"UberEats has been hugely popular in every city around the world we have launched it in," a spokesperson said, "so the fact we are exploring the UK market shouldn't come as a surprise. We're always looking at what other services we can bring to the market here."

The service will primarily be in competition with Deliveroo, an app that offers similar food delivery from various independent, gourmet and upscale chain restaurants.

Frequently cited as a 'digital disruptor', Uber has found itself in fierce conflict with the industries it has muscled in on thus far. The company has been locked in legal disputes with taxi drivers' unions around the world, earning itself bans in many countries.

It has also been criticised for the treatment of its drivers, who are classed as 'independent contractors' and thus do not get any of the benefits usually afforded to employees.

The company has also recently received large amounts of funding from investors including Goldman Sachs for its Xchange Leasing arm. This subsidiary provides leases on vehicles to potential drivers that otherwise could not obtain Uber-quality cars due to poor or non-existent credit ratings.

The leases - which have been described as "predatory" according to a Bloomberg report - deduct payment automatically from the driver's Uber earnings, and some critics say that the company is using them as a way to profit from drivers, rather than increase driver numbers.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.