- Uber Eats added a map feature to its pickup tab on its app on Tuesday, according to a company blog post.
- Instead of seeing only a list of nearby restaurants, users can click a map to view restaurants that are available.
- The company also extended its 0% marketplace fee for pickup orders for restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, according to an email sent to Restaurant Dive. While there isn’t a specific end date, the company said it is expected to run through at least the end of summer and will be reevaluated.
While consumers still remain reticent about dining inside, pickup has become particularly popular since the start of the pandemic. In April and May to-go sales grew 66.8% and 96.4%, respectively, across 300 chain restaurants, according to Black Box Intelligence data. Uber Eats says it’s also started to see an increase in pickup orders from users on its platform.
Aggregators have responded by expanding pickup features in the last few months to create a more seamless experience. Postmates rolled out a curbside pickup feature while DoorDash added customer tracking for pickup orders. The competition among third-party delivery services to enhance their pickup options will likely continue as the investments will have long-term benefits as much of the country continues to shy away from dine-in options. Even as diners do return, off-premise services were already on the rise pre-pandemic and these features will remain integral to many restaurants' business models.
Uber Eats, in particular, has been very active in expanding features recently. Just last week it added priority delivery and a loyalty program last week. In 2019, it also added a colorful tracking feature and the ability for customers to resolve issues with delays and order cancellations.
For its latest feature, Uber Eats says it was planning to add the map for pickups for some time, but as quarantine orders began to relax, more people started to venture out and walking to pick up lunch or dinner may become a new habit. The map feature is meant to provide another way for users to view which nearby restaurants are open and accept pickup orders.
Third-party delivery service fees overall have long been a sticking point for restaurants. By extending its 0% marketplace fee for at least the summer, however, Uber Eats provides an additional incentive for restaurants to choose its services over a competitor as businesses try to find savings where they can. This will make it easier for restaurants to add pickup to its services, driving additional revenue without more cost.
Rival DoorDash offers its own incentive to sign on with its services through its Storefronts feature, which was announced last month and is currently in pilot phase. The company said it will be widely available in July. It helps restaurants manage both pickup and delivery orders, while waiving numerous fees for independent restaurants in 2020, including setup, software and merchant delivery fees.