Uber announces new food Pickup and Go option

Uber has announced that it is adding a Pickup and Go feature to its app that integrates the Uber Eats and ride-hailing facets of its business. The feature allows passengers to order and pick up meals and groceries while en route to their destination.

The platform will also allow users to pre-order when a store or restaurant is closed, as well as create multiple orders from different stores and restaurants at the same time.

Starting in June, users in select cities in Canada, the U.S., and some other jurisdictions can combine food and grocery orders at no extra charge. The grocery side of this feature will initially only be available at convenience stores that are near the restaurant being ordered from. 

The integration between Uber’s ride-hailing app and its food delivery arm comes as more consumers get comfortable traveling and eating outside of the home again.  

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve worked with more than 1 million merchants to help move more than 1.5 billion orders of meals and grocery items,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said.

“We’ll only suggest merchants that are possible to order from that won’t delay your overall order,” added Lorraine Ho, delivery product lead.

When asked if Uber Delivery plans to bundle groceries with a restaurant order in the future, Ho said: “In general, we do try to drive efficiencies in the ecosystem. So I think we’re excited to learn about the possibilities as we learn more about offering groceries. But for the meantime, nothing as yet.”

Beginning in May, Eats Pass members will receive discounts on rides, with 10 per cent off three rides each month. Uber will also ask users who are booking rides from airports if they would like food or groceries delivered through Uber Eats to their destination. While ordering ahead was an existing option, the prompts are new.

These new features follow Uber Eats’ launch of its Merchant Stories function earlier this month to help merchants engage with in-app customers. Operators can integrate their Instagram accounts into Uber Eats, allowing them to upload images and text to update users about promotions, menu changes, or new services. Thirteen percent of users who clicked through a restaurant’s Stories placed an order in the same session, early tests found. 

In a time when the merits and ethics of third-party delivery services continue to be debated, services are beginning to respond.

Earlier this week, DoorDash unveiled a three-tiered commission price structure which allows local restaurants more choice on the fees they pay.

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