Uber launching “industry-first” pilot to deliver equipment to restaurants

Uber has announced it is partnering with foodservice equipment distributor Parts Town to provide equipment delivery to operators and service technicians in the Chicago market.

A press release calls the partnerships “the restaurant industry’s first” between a parts distributor and ride-sharing provider to offer replacement parts for delivery.

If the program goes well, Uber says expansion beyond Chicago is possible. Parts Town has more than 90 locations across North America, and sells original manufacturer equipment and parts through its digital marketplace, Parts In Town.

The Parts In Town marketplace aims to help local service companies grow their businesses, further improve equipment up-time in the foodservice industry, and promote the growth of genuine original equipment manufacturer part sales locally.

“This partnership won’t just benefit the food service industry and its customers, but brings new earning opportunities to the tens of thousands of Chicago-area drivers who help people, meals, groceries — and now mission-critical replacement parts — arrive at their destinations,” said Meghan Musbach, General Manager for Uber Eats in the Midwest.

Parts Town ships all in-stock orders the same day until 9 p.m. EST, and the Parts In Town service allows customers to order online and pick up the parts they need within one hour from local service companies, dealers, and distributors.

If this pilot project works as planned, restaurant operator partners who are suffering from equipment malfunctions or damage will hope that quick delivery of parts could help to prevent sales losses at their restaurants. Equipment trouble not only dents revenue and can result in downtime or closures, but it also requires reallocation of operational processes and labour and can inflict reputational damage if items are unavailable.

This offering is the latest in a growing line of products and services that Uber has added to diversify its portfolio, which has also recently included US-wide food shipping, increased grocery service, and pet store and convenience store delivery.