- Uber Eats launched free nationwide shipping on Tuesday. Customers can select "Home" on the Uber Eats app and scroll until the "Nationwide Shipping" tab is visible to view available restaurants. More than 15 merchants currently offer the service, Uber Eats said in an email.
- Once customers have selected the restaurant they want to order from, they can select specific items they would like to order and add them to their carts before checking out. Customers will then receive an email from FedEx with tracking information. Shipping is available to any location in the continental U.S.
- Uber Eats has competition in the nationwide food shipping sector. DoorDash launched the service in November, and Goldbelly landed $100 million in funding last year after posting 300% growth in 2020.
This nationwide shipping offering was inspired by partner restaurants' requests to enter the channel, Yadavan Mahendraraj, Uber's head of U.S. and Canada merchant operations, said in an interview at the National Restaurant Association Show in May. Mahendraraj is confident Uber Eats merchants and customers will find multiple use cases for the offering despite competition from rival providers.
"In this specific channel, Goldbelly is definitely the name that's out there," Mahendraraj said. "We're trying to be the partner of choice for merchants. What we're there to provide for them is omnichannel solutions — any way your eaters want to buy from you, we're here for it."
The delivery platform is interested in creating a more robust end-to-end delivery proposition for partners than competing to be the premiere nationwide food shipper, Mahendraraj said.
"We've invested really heavily in our account management footprint over the past year and a half. We're there to be those consultants to the restaurant," Mahendraraj said.
Uber Eats facilitates food shipping purchases through the Uber Eats app, and sends that sale information to merchants along with a shipping label. The restaurant then packages the menu item, attaches the shipping label and sends it through FedEx to its destination. The app prepares consumers for a shipping time of five to seven days, but an Uber Eats representative said the company has seen most orders arrive within four to five days.
Mahendraraj believes nostalgia will be the biggest driver of food shipping purchases through the Uber Eats app, as consumers use the service to purchase old favorites.
"A lot of different minority communities have hubs where all the best stuff is, and we don't live near that hub. It's a really cool thing to be able to get that food out to you. Because it's like [the] taste of home," he said.
Uber Eats has been on an expansion tear for both new channels and products of late. Last month, the company announced it will offer pickup ordering at stadiums; pilot autonomous delivery; debut voice ordering; and expand its Vouchers program so consumers can use the offering to order food or rides at events like weddings. This diversification comes as Uber Eats' rivals also expand into new channels, reflecting third-party delivery providers' push to grow profitability and meet changing diner behaviors.