Uber Eats is once again expanding in Detroit with the launch of a new lineup of restaurants that serve menus exclusively through the food delivery app. The first nine of these so-called virtual restaurants rolled out on the app on Monday, June 4, serving up items like Hawaiian grilled cheese sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, and vegan “steakless” tacos.
Uber Eats partnered with existing local restaurants including Milan Pizzeria, Vegginini’s Cafe, Vivio’s Food & Spirits, Mighty Wing Shop, Salvatore’s Pizza, Sheeba Express, and 21 Flavorz Express to develop the delivery-only menus. “Virtual restaurants give existing restaurant partners the opportunity to offer new and unique cuisines to eaters outside of what they typically might make available in their brick-and-mortar establishment, so it’s an exciting chance for them to innovate and experiment and to offer customers new choices,” Uber Eats general manager Peter Forsberg tells Eater.
The virtual restaurants operate under different names from their parent restaurants. For example three of the new deliver-only restaurants — Moe’s Cheesesteaks, Mi Wings Co., and the Burger Movement — all served menus prepared by Milan Pizzeria.
While relatively new to Detroit, virtual restaurants have been around for a while now. Momofuku empire builder David Chang opened a delivery-only restaurant called Ando in 2016, which has since shuttered and merged with the Uber Eats app. A similar San Francisco company called Munchery specializes in on-demand meals and operates sans brick-and-mortar storefronts.
Uber Eats debuted in Detroit last fall with more than 100 restaurants integrated onto the app and now offers delivery from more than 400 restaurants across the region.