Omi

Uber is an app that allows Chicagoans to take luxury cars around town instead of the traditional cab service. How did it get started?

Allen:

Uber is about a year and a half old, a tech startup based in San Francisco that launched in June 2010. We put our first cars on the road in San Francisco and built the business up from zero cars and zero clients. Since then we’ve launched six cities in 2011 so we are now in seven cities total.

What is the longest amount of time someone will wait for their car?

Max:

We like to say 10 to 15 minutes, but you’ll know when you’re in the app. Friday and Saturday nights are our busiest time for sure, people absolutely use this to go out and have fun. We’re constantly turning over though, the average trip is two miles so even if you open it up and it’s 26 minutes away, you could open it up again in five minutes and someone’s across the street.

As the community manager and operations manager, we can assume that you guys take Uber cars all of the time?

Allen:

All of the time!

Max:

It is so painful to get into a taxi. Oh my God, it’s horrible!

What types of cars can customers get?

Max:

The majority of our fleet are town cars, ’07 and newer and then we have SUVs as well but you always get the closest vehicle to you at that time, you can’t choose vehicles at this point. It’s definitely something we’re working on and hope to have soon.

Uber’s service seems perfect for not only a night out but special events like New Year’s Eve.

Max:

This New Year’s Eve there will be a few limos roaming around so you could request a car and could be getting a limo. Then you can be like, “Alright we only need one car, let’s all load up in the limo!”

Allen:

That will be the first time we’ve put limos on our fleet in any city. It’s something that we’re trying here in Chicago and for an occasion like New Year’s Eve and it makes a ton of sense because people go out in groups. You know if a limo shows up Saturday night that it’s a pretty good indicator it’s gonna be an awesome night.

So Uber helps Chicagoans like us get hooked up with the best of Chicago’s private drivers, all by the touch of a button on your app and for not much more than the price of a regular cab. What’s the catch?

Allen:

You can get a really awesome experience for $20 to $30, it’s a no-brainer. The same driver that you might pay $120 to take you to the airport is the guy that’s gonna take you to the airport under Uber for $75 and drive you to dinner for $20. You’re getting that same level of quality, that same type of vehicle. We’ve got some Mercedes floating around in the system and really nice cars that we’ll start to have more and more of as we are able to price them more appropriately.

Max:

We’ve got this guy that has a S-400 Hybrid Mercedes. It has two TVs in the back and an iPad in the dash, it’s insane. He drove Kanye West and Jay Z when he was in town so this guy literally does Uber one day and the next day is driving Kanye and Jay Z. He probably doesn’t necessarily need it but obviously everyone wants more business so he’s on Uber all the time and loves it. He loves talking to new people and showing off his car.

www.adrinkwith.comwww.adrinkwith.com

What have you heard from passengers that make Uber stand out over a traditional cab service?

Allen:

It’s the lengths that our drivers go to make the most out of the experience. We have a client who rides regularly who had some back issues and he wrote in about how great the driver was for helping him in and out of the car and really being careful. I had another woman who lives in Hyde Park and she had purchased a spa day for her 85-year-old mother and sent her in an Uber to Michigan Avenue. The woman had left her keys in her car and the driver found them, went into the spa, found out the client’s name and left the keys for her. The daughter wrote us this glowing note about how sweet the driver was and how much her mother appreciated it. The drivers are the ones that make this a great experience, they are the ones that you interact with.

Get to hear many interesting ride stories?

Max:

We’ve had some weird situations.

Allen:

You can actually go online and see your rating from the driver. There was an awesome tweet the other day that was like, “I would cut a man over my Uber star rating!” [Laughs]

Max:

The worst part is your rating might be affected but my job’s affected! I’ll wake up and be like, “Oh my God, did I take an Uber last night?” or “Oh my God, I don’t remember being in that Uber!” [Laughs]

Allen:

Even better is that we have a new feature in the app where you can actually share a picture from your trip as it’s going.

Max:

There’s a website, ubersfromlastnight.com.

When you guys aren’t talking about Uber, what’s your go-to pick up line when out in the city?

Max:

All I have to say is, “Babe, my driver is waiting outside.”

Favorite restaurant?

Allen:

The Publican.

Max:

Sunda. It’s just great and a fun experience.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

Max:

Rahm Emanuel just because we’re doing so much stuff in this city, I’d really like for him to know what we’re doing.

Allen:

President Barack Obama. Understanding what it’s like to run a country and also with his Chicago background, I want to understand how he views Chicago is changing. I’d love to have a double date with Max and Rahm and Barack and I and really understand how those guys get along and what they see for the future of Chicago.

www.adrinkwith.comPhotography by Natalie Probst

Did you enjoy this feature? Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a drink, we promise we’ll never spam you!

All Rights Reserved ©2017 A DRINK WITH ™

The URL has been copied to your clipboard.

Omi