With the national heat wave that hit the country this week, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cool off in the sweltering summer temperatures. But thanks to mobile car service app Uber, it might be as easy as a click of a button on your smartphone to stay cool.
The San Francisco-based company is offering consumers a chance to order ice cream and have it delivered by truck to their location for one day only. The on-demand service will be offered this Friday only from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 33 select cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Singapore and Rome.
Ordering ice cream from Uber is as easy as requesting a taxi, black car or SUV through the car service. Simply download the Uber app, slide the dial to “ice cream” and a truck will deliver between $20 and $35 worth of ice cream, depending upon your city, for five to six people within the operating hours.
But consumers will have to order multiple cones, rather than just one. No cash is needed, but the ice cream will be charged to the credit card associated with your Uber account.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told the Associated Press #UberIceCream is “a magical experience” that brings ice cream right to people's doorsteps.
This is an extension of last year's ice cream promotion, which made the service available in seven U.S. and Canadian cities -- and demand exceeded supply. Kalanick said San Francisco, where the company is based, was by far the highest demand.
‘‘In San Francisco last year, we had so much demand that in order for everyone to get ice cream, we would have had to have 1,000 trucks on the road,’’ Kalanick told AP. ‘‘That’s a city with 1,500 cabs.’’
The website even warns its users that service will be limited and encourages customers to be patient while waiting for their ice cream. “Our supply of ice cream trucks will be limited and many people will want ice cream,” the Uber site says. “It may take multiple tries to find an available truck. Please be patient! We’ll be working all day to deliver as much ice cream as possible.”
Kalanick, who co-founded Uber in 2009, said the app allows iPhone and Android users to order a taxi, car, high-end sedan or SUV to their location. The rates depend upon the city, but the service is the same. With the click of a button on the app, where your credit card is preloaded, a car of your selection will show up and drive you wherever you need to go.
The app, which is available in 35 cities, will also offer its ice cream service in Miami, Houston and Portland, Ore., where smartphone car service apps aren't allowed to operate, according to local laws.
Despite Friday's ice cream promotion, Kalanick said Uber will remain a car service only and has no plans to permanently expand into the ice cream business.
Here's a list of cities where Uber’s ice cream service will be available this Friday: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Uber is also doing this in Toronto; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Amsterdam; Berlin and Munich, Germany; London; Lyon and Paris, France; Milan and Rome, Italy; Stockholm and Singapore.
For more details, check the Uber website to see the minimum amount of ice cream required and the serving size for each city.