Uber plans to revive Italian fortunes with pizza deliveries

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UberEATS will soon arrive in Rome and Milan. Photo: Uber
12:08 CEST+02:00
In a bid to improve its ailing fortunes in Italy, US transport startup Uber will soon have its drivers delivering pizza, pasta and more to hungry customers in Rome and Milan.

They'll be able to order food from an application on their smartphones as part of a new service called UberEATS.

According to the company website, once the order has been placed via the app a black car will collect the food and bring it to your desired location in "no more than 35 minutes".

After months of speculation the company confirmed the news on its official Facebook page this week.

"UberEATS is arriving in Italy," it wrote, while announcing that recruitment is underway for people to manage the service, which is expected to be operational within 2016.

The food-delivery service was first launched two years ago in Los Angeles and has since expanded to 18 cities worldwide, only two of which - Paris and London - are in Europe.

The new service comes as Uber tries to improve its performance in Italy, a country which represents one of its worst performing markets along with South Korea.

According to Corriere della Sera, just 70,000 Italians have taken a ride with Uber over the last three months, compared to one million in France, 2.6 million in the UK and a whopping 18 million in the US and Canada.

Uber's development in Italy has been stalled by high-profile protests from the country's licenced taxi drivers and legal problems which have banned every service the company offers, except its licenced chauffeur service, UberBLACK, on the grounds of unfair competition.

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While it is unlikely the new service will create legal problems for the company or prompt a delivery drivers' strike, UberEATS will arrive facing stiff competition from well-established services.

A number of successful app-based delivery services already operate nationwide, including Deliveroo, Foodora and the Rome-based app Movenda, which allows Rome residents to order meals from the Eternal City's best eateries 

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