Uber’s food delivery business is the tech giant’s bread and butter in the age of the coronavirus.
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Uber Eats, the company's on-demand food delivery platform, trumped the brand's ride-hailing business for the third quarter, signaling shifting consumer demand during the pandemic.
Uber Eats brought in $1.45 billion in revenue, up 125% from last year and fueled by more diners ordering in, and restaurants relying on delivery to stay in business following indoor capacity limits put into place earlier this year. Uber’s mobility business, which includes ride-hailing, scooters and bikes, accounted for $1.37 billion, down 53% from last year.
“Without question, the (pandemic’s) impact on the world has been one of the most significant impacts of our lifetimes, and we moved quickly as a company to respond,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a conference call with investors Thursday, as reported by the Associated Press.
Food has been a major source of fuel for the tech giant during the pandemic, with stay-at-home orders in place going into effect back in March across much of the country. To accommodate more consumers at home, the on-demand platform in July launched a grocery delivery service in several Canadian and Latin American cities, as well as in the U.S., following news that it was acquiring meal delivery service Postmates. UberEats also increased its restaurant partnerships by more than 70%, the AP reported, and streamlined the service with social distancing in mind and a new contactless drop-off option.
While more consumers have been relying on delivery during the pandemic, small businesses have had a bone to pick with third-party delivery carriers for taking too big a bite out of profits. Cities such as New York, Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco put caps on third-party delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash for charging more than 15% commission on take-out orders.
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UberEats came under fire earlier this week after the San Francisco-based company was accused of discrimination for waiving delivery fees for some Black-owned restaurants over the summer. Uber was hit with more than 8,500 demands for arbitration about the policy, a spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.
The Associated Press and Ann Schmidt contributed to this report.