According to TechCrunch, Ando, the delivery-only restaurant started by David Chang last year, has been acquired by Uber Eats. The startup will cease delivery of its gooey cheesesteak sandwiches and crunchy chicken fingers in New York City (its only service location) as it begins to merge with the ride-hail giant’s food delivery service.
“Starting Jan 22nd, 2018, we will no longer be serving customers in New York — online or via our Union Square location — as we will be immediately starting to integrate with Uber Eats,” a notice on Ando’s homepage reads. “To all our customers, thank you for inviting us into your homes and offices. You were as much a part of this company as all of us, and it was a pleasure serving each of you.”
Chang, owner of the world-renowned Momofuku Group of restaurants, launched Ando in 2016 at the height of the food delivery boom. But thanks to fierce competition and thin margins, many delivery services have since shut down or been acquired by larger rivals. Popular delivery service Maple, in which Chang was an investor, was shut down after it was acquired by Deliveroo. Other businesses, like Munchery, have sought to recapitalize while slashing staff.
Ando’s merger with Uber Eats is relatively unsurprising. The startup has deep ties with the ride-hail company, beyond just using its courier service, Uber Rush, for delivery. Ando’s was designed by Expa, a San Francisco-based startup lab built by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp. Hooman Radfar, an Expa partner, helped Chang create Ando.
Over the last year, Uber Eats has been a relative bright spot for the troubled ride-hail company. While Uber’s reputation took it on the chin, Uber Eats has prospered under Jason Droege, who runs UberEverything, the portion of the business not focused on ride-hailing. The number of trips by UberEats drivers grew more than 24 times between March 2016 and March 2017, according to a New York Times profile. The food delivery service, which is available in 120 markets around the world, is profitable in 27 of those markets. In some places, UberEats is doing better than its ride-hailing business.
An Uber spokesperson would not offer any details on the integration of Ando into its business. Droege said in a statement, “We are committed to investing in technology that helps consumers, delivery and restaurant partners alike. Ando’s insights will help our restaurant technology team as we work with our restaurant partners to grow their business.”