MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For a few hours Friday, the company at the center of Miami-Dade’s taxi cab controversy was delivering ice cream to its app users.
Friday morning thousands of Uber users woke up to an email from the company announcing they could request ice cream on demand.
Within minutes on South Beach, Zombie Ice was at your door with cold treats.
Taylor Burstyn, an Uber user, was happy to try it out.
Click here to watch David Sutta’s report.
“This is awesome. I would eat anything delivered and in the summer this is great.”
If you have never heard of Uber ice cream delivery there is a good reason.
It was just for Friday and it was the first time they have ever done this in Miami.
Ice Cream day is actually occurring in cities around the world.
Billy Guernier, Uber’s general manager for regional expansion said the idea has been a hit for them.
“Who doesn’t love ice cream. We’ve seen in every case the biggest smiles you can get are when you pull up in an ice cream truck on demand,” said Guernier.
Ice cream delivery is much less controversial than what Uber has had to deal with in recent months.
They are deep in a political slugfest with Miami-Dade politicians. It’s all over Uber’s app that connects users with Ubers vetted drivers.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss has been a critic of the company and its concepts.
“You just can’t have an open system where anybody who wants to do something do it. It doesn’t work that way,” Moss said at a commission meeting earlier this year.
With the middle man, taxi cab owners and regulators, out some, are likening it to the wild West. A free, unregulated, emerging market could be good or bad depending on who you ask.
Burstyn believes it’s the best model around.
“I think that you are not going to get any better oversight than consumers because there is no way for us to rate taxis. I think that if a consumer can go and rate their service I think that you are going to get a really great product…and ice cream,” she said.
The ice cream on demand feature is really Uber’s way of showcasing their long game.
Taxi cabs may be just the beginning.
Guernier explained “Transportation is the first product that we’ve offered through our technology but it’s just the leading edge right now. We are testing different things. Who knows what the future holds.”
The possibilities are endless. They’ve already done a courier service in New York and on demand Valentine’s day roses delivery.
For Carlos Fierro, owner of Zombie Ice, it’s an intriguing business idea.
“I’ve never delivered shave ice to a location. We always go and we park in one spot and that’s it but heck we always do something new,” said Fierro.
Those wanting to order ice cream now have missed the opportunity because Uber shut the service down at 5:00 p.m.