Uber Eats has announced a series of initiatives to support independent restaurant owners and operators facing unprecedented challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The restaurant industry is being hit hard by Coronavirus and the sector needs to help the thousands of people that rely on it - for work and as an essential service - during this difficult time,” said Uber Eats Regional General Manager for APAC, Jodie Auster.
“We are putting in place a range of initiatives to continue to support restaurant partners, particularly small business owners, as they keep their kitchens firing to feed people across the country.”
The package includes $5 million in available funding for independent restaurants across Australia and New Zealand. The multi-million dollar stimulus will allow restaurants to deploy promotions to attract customers. This will allow restaurants to time promotions to suit their individual business needs.
Uber Eats is also introducing a new opt-in program for all restaurants on the platform offering daily payments, rather than the standard weekly payment. In addition to this, all restaurants will pay no service fees on pick up orders until 30 June.
“In testing economic circumstances maintaining cash flow and paying staff and suppliers remains a priority for small businesses. We will be offering restaurants the option to receive daily payments rather than payments once a week,” said Ms Auster.
With the drastic reduction in people eating out and many events and functions cancelled, Uber Eats can generate new revenue streams for impacted businesses and will be waiving activation fees to help new restaurants wanting to quickly join the platform.
Working with the Restaurant & Catering Association Uber Eats will also expand the Uber Eats offering to include caterers.
“There are thousands of small businesses in the restaurant, café and catering industry that have felt the full force of the coronavirus outbreak, with some reporting bookings and foot traffic down between 80 to 100 percent,” said Restaurant and Catering Association CEO Wes Lambert.
“These measures by Uber are very welcome as they allow small businesses to quickly pivot to still be able to serve great food, keep their doors open and keep staff working throughout these difficult times.”
In coordination with local and state governments, Uber Eats has pledged to provide 25,000 free meals to support health workers and other frontline services during this pandemic.
Restaurants and delivery partners have already begun receiving in-app messages reminding them of basic steps they can take to help prevent the spread of the virus which draws on advice from public health authorities.
Uber Eats has also begun a user campaign to drive awareness of “contactless” delivery, reminding Uber Eats users that they can request deliveries be left on their doorsteps.
“We are always working to help ensure the safety of everyone on the Uber platform,” said Auster. “We have formed a dedicated global team of Uber operations, security and safety executives, guided by the advice of a consulting public health expert, to respond as needed in each market where we operate around the world. We will continue to follow their guidance to do what we can to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Uber has acted across more than 60 countries to support users including delivery partners, restaurants, and driver partners. Efforts include providing financial assistance to driver partners and delivery people who are either diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate by a public health authority.