June 19, 2014 9:01 am

Poutine on demand? Uber to courier Canadian staple during NXNE

I'm sorry, did you say poutine on demand?


TORONTO – Your late night snacking dreams have been fulfilled.

Uber, the company known for connecting passengers to taxis through a smartphone app, will offer a one-day “poutine on demand” service during Toronto’s NXNE festival.

From noon on Friday until the wee after-bar hours (3 a.m. ET on Saturday), Uber couriers will be delivering orders of poutine to people in Toronto’s downtown core.

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“Many Torontonians are accustomed to ordering a taxi through the Uber app, so this works the same way,” said Uber’s general manager Ian Black.

Using the Uber app, instead of ordering a taxi, order poutine. After staff calls you back to confirm your order and location, a courier will deliver you poutine on foot or bike. Black said it’s the first time the company has partnered with foot and bike couriers, rather than drivers.

If you are particularly excited about your order, you can track the progress your fries, cheese and gravy on the app.

With crowds of people coming out for NXNE and Canada Day approaching, Black said they wanted to do something uniquely Canadian.

It’s not the first time the company has offered one-time services on-demand. They’ve held promotions for boats on demand in cottage country and allowed app users to hail nearby ice cream trucks in 35 different cities, including Toronto.

“You never quite know how these ideas will hit until they get out there,” said Black. But he’s expecting similar demand for the poutine service as he saw for the ice cream stunt. And everyone he’s told so far about the idea walks away with a smile on their face.

Last week, taxi drivers in Paris, Lonon, Berlin, Barcelona and Madrid walked off the job to protest technological changes in the industry, including apps like Uber.

NXNE runs in music, comedy, art and film venues across the city until June 22.


© 2014 Shaw Media

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