Uber Eats: Lifeline for Restaurants During PandemicBy MBN Staff | Wed, 12/30/2020 - 17:30
Delivery app Uber Eats became a lifeline for many restaurants, cafes and bars across the country during the pandemic, providing businesses with a way to continue taking orders even under red-light lockdown.
The company this month announced that it had given support worth an estimated MX$1.1 billion (US$55.34 million) to the food service industry in Mexico via delivery discounts and the reduction or removal of commissions for new forms of delivery, Expansión reports.
The intentions behind the initiatives were to reduce the impact of the lockdowns on the restaurant sector. According to the company, their efforts have benefitted 90 percent of the businesses that use the app.
Uber Eats Director José García-Pimentel explained that the company understood that the app’s future was linked to the health of Mexico’s food service sector and that its survival was vital. “At Uber Eats, our commitment to the restaurant industry in Mexico does not stop. We know that the recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic will take time, so we will continue to work hand in hand with the restaurants associated with our application to together move forward, either through promotions or new technological functions that help maintain the productivity of their businesses,” he said.
The intense competition in Mexico’s delivery service led Sin Delantal to leave Mexico in December, citing the growth of Uber Eats, Rappi and DiDi Food as a major reason behind the decision. A Consumer Intelligence report by Nielsen found that 25 percent of delivery app users order food at least once a week, while 17 percent used their apps more than once a week.
Ahead of the competition, García-Pimentel told MBN that the company would expand its service into all of Mexico’s 32 states and hoped to bring more restaurants into its network. “While diversifying the customer experience, we are creating deeper bonds with our delivery partners, as well. Last year, we launched a loyalty program for our delivery partners called Uber Pro. This gets them access to favorable fares. It also offers opportunities to access Utel, a digital university with more than 20 Bachelor’s and Master’s programs,” he explained.
The pandemic has battered the restaurant sector over the last nine months. Just prior to Christmas when the Mexico City and State of Mexico governments took the decision to return to maximum mobility restrictions ahead of rising COVID-19 cases, the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Spice Industry (CANIRAC) published a press release saying that eight out of 10 restaurants could be led to bankruptcy by the new lockdown.