During The Spoon’s recent trip to Tokyo, we took Anthony Bourdain’s advice and discovered the magic that is dining at Japanese convenience stores. In fact, the only thing that could have made those egg salad sandwiches any better was not having to go out in 100 degree August heat to get them.
Good news for those in Tokyo who also wilt going outside in Summer! Lawson, Japan’s third largest convenience store chain, will start offering delivery via Uber Eats. As Reuters reports:
Lawson said it will start selling around 100 products including bento boxes, fried chicken and tissue paper through Uber Eats starting on Thursday, initially for users near its stores in Shinjuku and Shinagawa before a later expansion.
Uber’s main business, ride sharing, is banned in Japan, so its food delivery business plays an outsized role over there. According to a recent Bloomberg article, Uber has partnerships with 10,000 restaurants in Japan, across ten cities in the country. Uber also has 15,000 couriers in the country, including many elderly folks who make deliveries by foot.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Uber since the company went public this past May. In fact, the company reported losses of $5.2 billion in its second quarter. And despite its 140 percent year-over-year growth, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he doesn’t expect Uber Eats to be profitable next year or the year after that.
This deal with Lawson won’t move the needle much on that rather grim scenario for Uber Eats, but it will make getting egg salad sandwiches a whole lot easier for those lucky people in Tokyo.