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Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020

Delivery apps become essential for restaurants to survive during pandemic

Delivery apps become essential for restaurants to survive during pandemic

Working from home also means a lot of eating from home.
As an Uber Eats-commissioned study revealed, we're chowing down on a lot of delivery and takeout while the coronavirus pandemic surges. A June survey with food service research firm Technomic asked 400 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada about third-party delivery services. All 400 restaurants partner with Uber Eats, and all but 50 work with other food delivery apps, as well. Almost 75 percent of those restaurants saw delivery app sales go up during the outbreak.

From the survey, 92 percent of restaurants said they used a delivery app after March 15 when the pandemic effectively started in the U.S. That's 27 percent more restaurants using one of the apps (there's Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash, and others) than before the outbreak. Of restaurants that only recently started working with a delivery service almost 90 percent said they'd continue. In the middle of a pandemic, restaurants are practically forced to use delivery apps for visibility and the delivery workers that the apps bring with them.

Even if restaurants have to give up to 25 percent back to the apps, at least orders are higher than ever. The study found the average check for delivery went up 69 percent from $34.10 before March 15 to $57.50 since then.

Uber Eats added a donation option (on top of any tips for delivery workers and the restaurant) in April for restaurants that used to depend mostly on dine-in sales. Uber Eats customers donated about $17 million directly to restaurants so far. More than 90 percent of the 400 restaurants surveyed had in-person dining available before COVID-19. Now only 20 percent still offer sit-down service.

As Janelle Sallenave, head of Uber Eats in the U.S. and Canada said in a recent press briefing, once the pandemic struck "dine-in came to a grinding halt." Delivery went from being "a small part of restaurants' business to the dominant or only aspect of their business."

As we continue to depend on delivery apps, Uber Eats added some new features for restaurant operators and some new looks and incentives in the customer app. Through the end of the year Uber Eats is continuing with no delivery fees for any Black-owned businesses on the app. Pick-up orders through the app also won't take a cut from restaurants. Customers never had a pick-up fee, but now also restaurants - which have been dealing with more pick-up orders because of COVID-19 - won't have a fee until the end of 2020.

Also starting Tuesday, you'll notice a "Top Eats" badge for restaurants that hit five behind-the-scenes benchmarks from the previous three months.

As a customer you won't see that your favorite sandwich place only has 1 percent missed orders, but you will see a badge on the restaurant's profile in the app and more prominent placement within the app.

And so, the cycle of online ordering carries on.
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