As with many other countries, Japan does not legally allow private drivers to transport paying customers. As such, the ride share app Uber is yet to be established in this marketplace. Despite this, the company has decided to launch UberEATS in Tokyo and build brand presence from the ground up.
UberEATS allows users to place their order and pay through the smartphone app. The courier receives their delivery fee from Uber. So far it has proved fruitful for the ride share giant with more than 150 restaurants and 1,000 couriers signed up prior to launch. Sixty percent of these restaurants had never done delivery before.
“Things have been slightly different here,” Uber Japan President Masami Takahashi told The Journal. “Regardless, we have been pleased to see the incredibly high level of enthusiasm for UberEATS in Tokyo since day one.”
David Plouffe, senior vice president of policy and strategy at Uber Technologies Inc, sees a reverse approach for Tokyo. At an American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) event at Tokyo American Club, Plouffe was quoted saying, “When ride sharing is embraced here, people will try it via the food app, which is the inverse of other cities.
UberBLACK, the company’s luxury option, and UberTAXI, which allows riders to use the Uber app to call licensed cabs are already operating in Japan, but whether consumers embrace the ridesharing stream of the company remains to be seen.