- Uber launched a new feature last week, called Uber Moments, which diners can use to book culinary classes or dining experiences on the Uber Eats app, according to Forbes.
- The pilot is taking place for through Nov. 17 in San Francisco, with options such as a $75 cooking class on how to make Chinese dumplings.
- Consumers can use the feature by tapping the Uber Moments banner at the top of the app, finding their desired time slot, booking a ticket or tickets and tapping the "order received" prompt. They are sent a confirmation email within 24 hours.
This isn't Uber Eats' first foray into something beyond delivery. Earlier this month, Uber announced a new pickup feature, and the company tested an Uber Dine-In option in July. Further, Uber operates thousands of virtual restaurants globally and recently partnered with Rachael Ray to offer her dishes exclusively through that model. The company also launched a shift-finder app earlier this month, called Uber Works.
This experiential offering isn't necessarily new, either. Airbnb has its own Experiences channel that lets users book a number of experiences, from jungle retreats in Bali to riverfront tai chi classes. Airbnb also has a robust food and drink category, such as wine tastings, organic urban farm tours and pasta-making classes. But Airbnb doesn't compete with Uber Eats, at least not directly, so there could be plenty of room for both.
Rather, this perhaps provides Uber with a differentiator over other food delivery apps as competition in the space continues to intensify. Uber is in need of a boost here: DoorDash's market share of delivery transactions grew from 27% to 35% during the first half of September, while Uber Eats slipped from 29% to 25% of spend and Grubhub fell from 30% to 22%.
Still, as Uber diversifies its offerings, it could grow loyalty and also generate additional revenue. The company is in need of some new revenue streams. Investment firm Cowen estimates that Uber loses $3.36 on every Eats order, Fox Business reported. The company has also gone through three rounds of layoffs since August and lost over $5 billion in the second quarter alone.
Cooking classes and dining experiences could help the company grow its customer base. Someone seeking a $55 five-course Nigerian dinner experience is likely a different type of customer than someone seeking a $10 McDonald's delivery, for example. Both experiences, however, keep Uber Eats in the culinary space, so while it's a differentiator, it's not a big disconnect.
One potential challenge could be non-delivery competition. Discovery and Amazon just launched a video-streaming app with the Food Network app that lets subscribers attend 25 live cooking classes a week taught by celebrity chefs, for example.
Even with all of its challenges, adding experiences alongside its food and ride-sharing offerings could help Uber achieve its ultimate goal.
"What we want to be as a company is the operating system for your daily life," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during an event in September.