STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As the restaurant industry continues to struggle amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Uber Eats is rolling out a new mobile app, alongside new features that will help restaurants engage with their customers and boost business.
Uber Eats and other food delivery services have been a crucial lifeline to small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, with a recent survey by Uber Eats and Technomic highlighting the benefits the third-party delivery apps have offered restaurants in recent months.
“The insights, collected in June through surveys and interviews of over 400 restaurant owners across the U.S. and Canada are clear: restaurants are increasingly relying on Uber Eats in ways they haven’t before. Delivery has become a lifeline to reach new and existing customers, increase revenue, and grow and maintain their businesses during the pandemic,” according to the company.
According to the survey, 82% of restaurants said Uber Eats was crucial to them during the pandemic, with 81% saying they would have had to layoff employees if not for the platform, and 75% saying they would have been forced to close their business all together.
Of the restaurants surveyed, 92% said they plan to keep using third-party delivery apps post-pandemic.
With that in mind, the company is rolling out a new Uber Eats Manager App that allows restaurateurs to conveniently track their sales, trends and goals from their mobile phone.
Uber Eats has also created new customer engagement tools, available both online and through the new Manager App, which allows restaurants to quickly and efficiently engage with customers and even provide future discounts in the event of a botched order.
A newly released Customer Insight Dashboard will provide owners with an in-depth look at customers’ ordering habits and restaurant trends in an effort to arm restaurateurs with as much information as possible to increase sales.
“Restaurants tell us driving demand is consistently their number one priority. New customer insights in the Uber Eats Restaurant Manager dashboard will help restaurants better understand how consumers interact with their storefront on Eats — from the home feed to the menu to building a cart and checking out — giving them unique insights into their business and what drives customer decisions,” according to the company.
To improve ordering flexibility, Uber Eats will also allow restaurants to add online ordering through Uber Eats to the restaurant’s personal website, with no commission paid to Uber Eats through the end of 2020.
“As we roll out these new products, we’ll continue to listen to, learn from, and build for restaurants—because we’re committed to true partnership, in both normal and ‘new normal’ times,” the company said.
RECENT UBER EATS IMPROVEMENTS
This is the second time in as many months that Uber Eats has introduced new features intended to boost sales for local restaurants.
In late June, Uber Eats announced priority delivery, which allows customers to pay a small additional fee to ensure their Uber Eats order comes directly to them and arrives before the initially-scheduled time slot.
“When you place an order with Uber Eats, you want your food to arrive by the estimated delivery time, every time. And then there are those occasions when you want your food even faster,” Uber wrote in a blog post. “That’s why we’re introducing the option for customers to pay a nominal fee for Priority Delivery, which cuts time off the original ETA, and ensures your order comes directly to you, ASAP.”
The second feature encourages customers to keep supporting their favorite local restaurants by allowing them to develop their own, unique rewards programs. Customers can earn points each time they order from a restaurant and track their reward progress on the Uber Eats app.
Uber Eats also added a new pickup map to its app, allowing customers to quickly peruse nearby restaurants offering pickup in their area.
“For restaurants, the Pickup map brings customers back to their storefronts while dine-in is still limited. It also provides restaurants an opportunity to connect with new customers while reconnecting with regulars,” said Daniel Danker, head of product for Uber Eats.