Uber Eats is expanding to cover 70 percent of US population by end of year

Uber is continuing to expand its on-demand food delivery service, Eats. By the end of this year, Uber plans to cover more than 70 percent of the U.S. Today, Uber covers more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. Uber Eats competitor Postmates, on the other hand, recently said it covers 60 percent of U.S. households.

Even in places where Uber does not operate its traditional ride-hailing business or places where it has merely a small presence, Uber has been able to “successfully introduce the Uber brand to the marketplace through Eats,” Uber Head of US Cities for Uber Eats Ana Mahony told TechCrunch.

Uber’s calling it successful in part because 40 percent of its new Eats users are new to Uber. One of the benefits to operating Eats, Mahony said, is that there are different regulatory requirements.

When you compare the Eats growth data to that of the first three years of UberX gross bookings, “Eats is growing just as fast if not faster,” Mahony said.

To continue fueling growth, Uber is also launching a new self sign-up process for restaurants. The idea is for it to be easier and faster to become an Uber Eats partner.

“Uber is really evolving into a platform brand where we are moving very many different types of goods and services and people from point A to point B,” Mahony said.

Over the weekend, the WSJ reported Uber has plans to use drones to deliver food by 2021. That report was based on a since-deleted job posting looking for an executive for UberExpress, a drone delivery service within Uber Eats. However, Mahony and I had our conversation before the drone news.