UberEATS, the service that delivers food from restaurants, already delivers food from restaurants that don’t exist. Now they’re testing a new service that lets you order food through their app and then eat it at the restaurant. So far the concept of using Uber to eat in a restaurant is being tested in Austin, Dallas, Tucson, and San Diego.
- Since you aren’t getting the food delivered, the service “waives the standard delivery and service fees that Uber Eats usually charges”
- However there are reports of customers being charged higher prices for ordering ahead through the app, presumably to offset whatever slice of revenue the restaurant is taking when you don’t order direct.
- You can tip through the app and Uber says they don’t keep any of that money.
Uber’s dine in option doesn’t even let you order an Uber to get to the restaurant at this point, so it doesn’t seem quite fully baked.
Although one argument for using the service, I suppose, would be Uber’s new rewards program. Even if the food is a bit more expensive, at the end of your six month status qualifying period you might need to make an UberEATS run even when you planned to eat at a restaurant rather than order for delivery. Plus it may be another option to use American Express Platinum Uber credits.
The benefit here, it seems, is simply Uber’s installed customer base. It’s one app and customers may be searching for where to eat through their phones, the way OpenTable is able to charge a premium over Resy because they’re not just reservations management they’re also eyeballs to sell to restaurants (in much the same way that Expedia sells eyeballs to hotels).
Outside of eyeballs there’s little value to justify their fees. And I’d think the market here is small. If you’re actually going to go to a restaurant and you’re trying to eat quickly (which is why you want to pre-order) you probably know where you’re going and it’s some place close.
Two years ago American Express ran a popup where you’d order food to be delivered and eat it in their restaurant. That seems like a concept Uber could try next: WeWork for Dining.