EatStreet, Uber Partner To Serve Chicago Diners Starting Next Month

There’s a host of startups striving to be the “Uber of (insert activity or service here).” Meanwhile, some businesses are teaming up with the ascendant San Francisco-based company—which is most widely known for its ride-hailing app, but has expanded into other areas—to tap into its huge user base and recognizable brand.

According to Uber’s website, its lists of collaborators include hotel giant Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT), credit card company Capital One (NYSE: COF), and Spotify, a streaming music service.

Now the list also includes EatStreet, a Madison, WI-based food ordering service. On Thursday, EatStreet announced a partnership with Uber aimed at improving food delivery in selected cities, beginning with Chicago. (To be precise, the agreement is with UberRush, the company’s delivery arm.)

“Partnering with a national player like Uber quite literally puts the next stage of our growth into overdrive,” Matt Howard, EatStreet co-founder and CEO, said in a press release.

Diners in Chicago—one of more than 250 cities where EatStreet’s online and mobile platforms can be used—will not notice any differences when they place orders, Howard said.

At the heart of the partnership is an application programming interface that EatStreet developed for UberRush, according to the release. This technology will allow smaller restaurants to start offering delivery, and help those that already deliver to move faster, EatStreet said.

On Friday, Howard told Xconomy that UberRush will start delivering orders placed using EatStreet’s technology by the end of February.

Howard said some of the 15,000-plus restaurants EatStreet has signed up rely on employees to deliver orders, while others outsource it to third parties. Those include Austin, TX-based Mr. Delivery, which operates in 21 U.S. cities, and, soon, UberRush.

EatStreet and Uber will together determine which cities they’ll introduce the new technology to after Chicago, Howard said. “It’s a work in progress with Uber where we go next,” he said.

Last month, EatStreet, which has more than 100 employees and plans to hire dozens more, raised $15 million in a Series C funding round.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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