Uber Eats comes to Pullman

Local restaurants including O-Ramen, Paradise Creek Brewery try out new delivery service



Uber Eats offers a better price rate than DoorDash, including a two-month free trial.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen roots editor

Uber Eats launched in Pullman last week, offering the community another delivery service choice for customers.

Owner Orin Ford said O-Ramen provided very few takeout options before the pandemic. When businesses shut down in March 2020, he launched delivery services through third-party platforms, like DoorDash and Delivery Pullman.

Ford said Uber Eats offers a better price rate than DoorDash, including a two-month free trial.

In November, Gov. Jay Inslee restricted third-party delivery services to only charging up to 18 percent per order, as opposed to the usual 30 percent.

“There’s this perception that restaurants are so expensive,” Ford said. “We have to raise our prices if we’re going to maintain the same profit margin because I can’t afford to give 30 percent of everything to delivery companies.”

People purchase food using the DoorDash app as a takeout order and pick it up themselves, he said. However, the restaurant still pays the 18 percent fee to DoorDash.

“The best thing you can do to support local businesses is to buy from them directly,” Ford said.

Jonny Handy, Paradise Creek Brewery general manager, said the brewery wanted the ability to reach more customers in the region through Uber Eats.

Both Paradise Creek Brewery and O-Ramen offer their full menu on the app, he said. Other participating restaurants include The Land, Oak on Main and Red Bento.

Handy said he hopes to add more alcohol options soon.

The brewery employs two of their own delivery drivers, he said. The business plans to expand its staff by hiring a server and more line cooks because the region recently entered Phase 3 of Inslee’s reopening plan.

The restaurants send Uber Eats their menu and photos of food items, then the company builds the webpage for them, Handy said.

Customers are using the new platform more and more each day, although it is not as established as their own delivery system or DoorDash, he said.

Takeout and delivery orders make up about 40 percent of their sales right now, Handy said. When dining in was not an option, delivery made up closer to 60 percent of sales.

“It’s important for accessibility,” he said. “There are a lot of people who don’t want to bother parking downtown. Also, you can try out the restaurants around here without making a commitment to spending the entire evening out and about.”

Harry Hartfield, Uber public affairs manager, wrote in an email that Uber Eats already services about 20 cities in Washington. 

“Pullman was a great location for expansion,” he wrote in an email. “There’s such a great selection of local restaurants and a vibrant local community that includes a very large college-age population.”