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Tuesday was a big day for those of us who appreciate having food delivered to us (aka 99.9 percent of New Yorkers). On-demand taxi service Uber launched UberEats, a lunch-time delivery service that sends you your meal in under 10 minutes. And Maple, a new service backed by David Chang (of Momofuku fame), started delivering fresh "restaurant quality meals" to customers in the Financial District.
UberEats — which, like its taxi service, is cashless — offers a couple of menu options each day from popular local restaurants. (Note: there's no guarantee of a vegetarian choice.) The meal arrives in 10 minutes or less, but you'll have to actually leave your home or office and meet the driver at their car. Currently, UberEats delivers between 14th Street and 40th Street only. Lunches are usually $9-$14 and there's a $4 flat delivery fee no matter how many menu items you order, which you must do between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Maple, on the other hand, doesn't deliver other restaurants' food but, rather, serves up its own freshly prepared meals for lunch and dinner. When you open Maple’s iOS orAndroid app (note: you'll need iOS 8), you see three menu options (including vegetarian). Once you’ve chosen what you want, the food should be delivered in 30 minutes or fewer. Lunch costs $12, dinner $15 — with tips, taxes and delivery fees included. For now, it’s only available in the Financial District, south of Chambers Street.
As they stand, these new services seem to be embracing the idea that less is more (unlike Seamless, where options can overwhelm). There's Caviar, which offers food from a limited number of curated restaurants; Arcade, which offers diners just one dish per day from a popular restaurant (it changes daily) and Served By Stadium, which also limits your options to a handful of dishes, but allows you to mix and match from different restaurants.