The Impact of Third-Party Food Delivery During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting public health measures have severely impacted the restaurant industry. With dine-in operations largely prohibited, many restaurants have turned to take-out and delivery models to continue reaching customers, maintain revenue, and stay in business.

To better understand the impact of third-party food delivery platforms on restaurants during this time, Uber Eats partnered with Technomic, an industry-leading market research firm, to conduct a survey of more than 400 restaurants based in the US and Canada in June of this year. All operators surveyed currently partner with Uber Eats, and more than 350 respondents also partner with other third-party delivery services. The full whitepaper is available here.

Survey Findings

The findings from the survey show that third-party delivery services have been critical to restaurants weathering the crisis. Seventy-six percent of operators surveyed said they would have had to close their business if it wasn’t for Uber Eats and more than 80% of operators indicated that they would have had to lay off staff members if it wasn’t for third-party delivery services.

The findings from the survey also highlight how third-party delivery services provide an important channel for restaurant operators to increase revenue and grow and maintain their business, particularly during a time when traditional dine-in options are unavailable. Uber Eats partners report more impact from working with Uber Eats than others during the crisis, including a larger increase in sales. Some partners saw sales increase by more than 40%. Additionally, 84% of operators agree that third-party delivery services have allowed them to reach customers they otherwise wouldn’t have reached, while also improving their ability to reach existing customers.

In addition to helping restaurants reach new customers and increase sales, the survey found that third-party delivery services helped restaurants create new growth opportunities for their businesses. For instance, 89% of respondents highlighted how they were able to grow their business during off-peak times due to increased capacity thanks to third-party delivery services. Another meaningful growth opportunity that was widely cited by respondents was the addition of family-style meals and meal kits which allowed restaurants to creatively increase check sizes and pivot to the changing needs and demands of communities in quarantine.

Way Forward

While Technomic’s findings have been heartening, the findings are also a reminder of the unique challenges facing the restaurant industry at this time. Since the start of the pandemic, Uber Eats has been working hard to support restaurants, by taking actions such as reducing consumer fees to drive demand, extending 0% fees for pickup orders through the end of the year, launching efforts to support Black-owned restaurants, and introducing new safety features and policies to support restaurants and delivery people during COVID.

Based on feedback from restaurants and learnings from this report, we also recently launched a series of new products aimed at helping restaurants optimize their delivery operations while providing more flexible and affordable ways to partner with us. Uber Eats stands with the restaurant industry and is committed to continuing to listen to, learn from, and build for restaurants — so we can emerge from this crisis stronger, together.

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Insights and updates from the Uber Comms & Policy team

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