NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Uber Eats today announced efforts to support independent restaurant owners and operators as the hospitality industry faces unprecedented challenges amidst the COVID-19 state of emergency.
“We know the coming weeks will be challenging ones for many small business owners, and we want to help restaurants focus on food, not finances.” said Janelle Sallenave, head of Uber Eats for the U.S. and Canada. “That’s why we’re working to drive increased demand to more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada through free delivery and marketing efforts.”
Details of the support package include a waiving of delivery fees on all Uber Eats orders from independent restaurants across US & Canada, and dedicated marketing campaigns—both in-app and via email—to promote delivery from local restaurants, especially those that are new to the app.
“These are challenging times for restaurants. The efforts by Uber Eats to help mitigate the impact on businesses during this time of uncertainty is an example of leadership and empathy,” said National Council of Chain Restaurants Executive Director David French. “We applaud the announcement of steps the company is taking to help restaurant businesses large and small in communities across America during this difficult time.”
“Over 90 percent of all restaurants are small- and family-owned with 50 or fewer employees, each restaurant, along with the industry’s 15.6 million employees, are facing uncertainty and disruption because of coronavirus,” said Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Efforts that promote drive-thru, takeout and delivery are important tools to help restaurants continue to serve consumers during challenging times.”
Additional benefits include a new opt-in program for all restaurants in the US and Canada using the Uber Eats platform to receive daily payouts, rather than the company’s standard weekly payout.
“We’ve heard from restaurants that they’re worried about what the health crisis will do to sales, and its impact on cash flow and their ability to pay suppliers or employees,” said Therese Lim, head of restaurant product at Uber Eats. “That’s why, from today we’ll provide restaurants with the option to receive daily payouts rather than waiting until the end of the week to see revenue from deliveries, which can be even more important as delivery becomes a bigger share of their sales during this time.”
To support first responders, Uber Eats has pledged 300,000+ free meals to be delivered to healthcare workers and other relief efforts in coordination with local and state governments.
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Uber has acted across 60+ countries to support users including delivery people, restaurants, and drivers. Efforts include financial assistance to drivers and delivery people who are either diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate by a public health authority.
Uber Eats has also begun a user campaign to drive awareness of “contactless” delivery, provided CDC guidance to restaurants to ensure all delivery orders are properly sealed in tamper-evident packaging, and is working to provide delivery people with sanitization materials in the most impacted markets.
“We are always working to help keep everyone who uses Uber safe,” said Andrew Macdonald, Vice President of Platform at Uber and global head of the company’s global coronavirus response team to support users including delivery people, restaurants, and drivers. “We remain in close contact with local public health authorities and will continue to follow their guidance to do what we can to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”