Food delivery app Uber Eats will expand service to six Northern and Central California cities this week as part of a nationwide push into the suburbs.
Effective 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Lodi, Yuba City, Redding, Chico, Eureka and Visalia are among dozens of new cities being added to San Francisco-headquartered Uber Eats, the company announced.
The company says it aims to cover 70 percent of the U.S. population with this round of additions.
Notably, these half-dozen California cities are more sparsely populated and remote than most existing areas of Uber Eats service in Northern California, such as the Bay Area and greater Sacramento area. Visalia is the most populous at about 135,000 people. Eureka has less than 30,000, tucked away on the state’s north coast.
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“These markets are particularly important to us, as 40 percent of Uber Eats customers in these areas are part of smaller towns,” said Kiran Vinta, head of launch and expansion at Uber Eats U.S.
Starting this year, the company introduced a “self-signup” option, letting restaurants apply for consideration to be added to the network. Uber Eats also reaches out to restaurants to include them.
Uber’s popular rideshare service helps establish a foundation upon which the food delivery can grow, Vinta said. Many Uber drivers drive for both services, he said.
“Restaurants in general want new customers, so as they come to us they want to be able to tap into the large userbase we have and the marketing power of our app,” Vinta said.
Uber Eats was founded in 2014.