People wearing bright green and yellow backpacks seem to have invaded Kyiv.
They are the foot soldiers of two waring food delivery services — Uber Eats and Glovo. A battle between the two started this month as Uber Eats rolled out throughout the city, invading territory occupied by Glovo since its launch in October 2018.
Both services offer door to door food delivery from restaurants around Kyiv. But Glovo has already gathered a longer list of partner restaurants and expanded to include more areas in Kyiv available for delivery. Uber Eats, however, is winning on the most important front — it’s simply faster.
In the four months that Glovo has been operating in Kyiv, it has established partnerships with about 700 individual restaurants, according to the company. It says another 400 are in the pipeline — to be added soon.
Glovo’s trump card is the McDonald’s fast food chain. The two have established an exclusive partnership, meaning that only Glovo will deliver food from McDonald’s in Kyiv. For now, it is working with 18 McDonald’s restaurants.
Uber Eats started this month with a selection of about 200 restaurants. The company says it will add more new places soon. Some of the restaurants currently available only through Uber Eats are Furgoneta, ZigZag and Orang+utan.
Glovo is also an all-purpose delivery service, so its couriers can pick up any goods from anywhere in the city. This means that in theory, a user can order any meal from any restaurant in Kyiv through the “Anything” tab in Glovo’s app. But in practice, this kind of delivery can be hit-and-miss.
There won’t be any late-night food deliveries with Glovo and Uber Eats in Kyiv, since both services don’t work past 11 p. m. Uber Eats delivers from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m., while Glovo works for an hour longer, from 10 a. m. to 11 p. m.
Moreover, the companies won’t deliver to all of the districts of Kyiv. At its launch, the Uber Eats delivery map was limited to central Shevchenkivskyi, parts of Pecherskyi and Solomyanskyi districts, and the Podil and Shuliavka areas.
Glovo covers central Kyiv as well, but also delivers to some of the city’s outlying residential districts, like Obolon. It’s quickly expanding to Kyiv’s Left Bank and already delivers to Pozniaky and Osokorky areas.
Both Uber Eats and Glovo charge for their delivery services as an extra added to the price of meals. But for its first month, Uber Eats is offering free deliveries with promo code “HELLOKYIV.”
Uber Eats’ rate is Hr 30 for delivery regardless of the quantity of ordered food. Glovo’s charge varies depending on individual restaurants and the distance to the delivery address. But it usually matches the prices of Uber Eats.
The Kyiv Post tested Glovo and Uber Eats by making identical orders from the same restaurants to our office through both services. In the first round, we ordered burgers to be delivered at lunchtime — the rush hour for food delivery. Next, we ordered cheesecakes, and in the final round we ordered avocado wraps.
Without the promo codes, Glovo and Uber Eats charged the same price for the delivery of all three different items — Hr 30.
A lone messenger of Glovo delivery walks along Petra Sahaidachnoho Street in Kyiv carrying a company backpack on Feb. 13, 2019. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)
Both services promise to make deliveries in under an hour, depending on the distance. The client should be able to see the courier’s movement on the map in the application in real time. Uber Eats nails the feature, while Glovo’s map can be unresponsive at times.
In the first round of our test, Uber Eats delivered the burger at lunchtime rush hour in 30 minutes. The burger was still warm, though the restaurant’s packaging was poor. Glovo failed, being unable to deliver the burger for over three hours, forcing us to cancel the delivery.
Glovo’s courier was completing several orders at once, which was evident from his route on the map. He told us so himself, and so did the support service. The service has apologized, offering a promo code.
In the second round, it took an hour for Glovo to deliver the cheesecake. Uber Eats made it in 40 minutes. In both cases, the cheesecake was fresh and neatly packed by the restaurant.
In the third and final round, the Kyiv Post ordered wraps with avocado outside of lunchtime hours. Glovo did a little better this time, delivering in 30 minutes. But Uber Eats still came faster, in just 22 minutes.
So Uber Eats won our delivery race over Glovo fair and square, 3:0. Although it has just started this month, it already has a base of dedicated drivers from Uber’s taxi service that launched in Kyiv back in 2016. Uber drivers can get involved in Uber Eats, and the company also hires new couriers on motorbikes, bicycles and on foot.
Currently, both Glovo and Uber Eats pay their couriers Hr 70–100 ($2.6–3.7) per hour, according to the companies’ vacancy announcements. This is within the average salary rates in Ukraine and Kyiv.
But since the quality of both services ultimately depends on the number of couriers, there will be a higher demand for workers, and hopefully, this will lead to a rise in wages. Because the better the couriers are paid — the bigger their smiles will be on delivery.
And they might be a little faster too.
Found a spelling error? Let us know – highlight it and press Ctrl + Enter.