Uber Eats has announced a range of initiatives in the UK to support independent restaurant owners and operators facing unprecedented challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The high street is being hit hard by Coronavirus but the sector can play a critical role in helping the thousands of people who rely on it – for work and as an essential service – during this difficult time,” said Uber Eats UK General Manager, Toussaint Wattinne.
“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 free delivery* for all independent restaurants and many more that operate on the Uber Eats app in order to help drive orders towards over 15,000 small and medium businesses.
Uber Eats is also introducing a new opt-in programme for all restaurants on the platform offering daily payments, rather than the standard weekly payment.
“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 Mr Wattinne.
With the introduction of social distancing and advice from the UK government to avoid social events, Uber Eats can help generate new revenue streams for impacted businesses and will be waiving activation fees** to help new restaurants wanting to quickly join the platform. The company will also introduce fast-tracked onboarding for new restaurants to help them get online as soon as possible.
Uber Eats is also expanding the number of convenience stores available via the app and waiving delivery fees for them.*
UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Thousands of small businesses in the restaurant, café and catering industry have already felt the full force of the coronavirus outbreak. Many businesses are reporting a massive drop in footfall and a catastrophic reduction in revenue. This is an unprecedented crisis and we are at the make or break point for a lot of businesses.
“This initiative by Uber Eats is very welcome as it will allow small businesses to quickly pivot to ensure they are still able to serve great food, keep their doors open longer and keep their teams working throughout this very difficult time.”
Restaurants and delivery partners have already begun receiving 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. In addition to this, Uber Eats is introducing a new contactless delivery product feature to help ease the process.
“We are always working to help ensure the safety of everyone on the Uber platform,” said Wattinne. “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.”
*/** Free delivery and the waiving of activation fees will be available until 31 March, when their impact will be reviewed.