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FOOD SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Online channels beat bricks and mortar in delivery orders, says UberEATS' Simon Rossi

He has observed a dramatical change of orders coming from grocery, travel and retail industry.

QSR Media: What’s new at Uber Eats?

The food delivery scene has changed dramatically since we first launched UberEATS in April 2016 and we’ve been excited to be at the forefront of that evolution. It’s fair to say we started out with a relatively niche offering of high­end restaurants in our launch city of Melbourne. Today we’re in 10 Australian cities and partner with thousands of restaurants nationwide. We’re working with local favourites in neighbourhoods all over the country, household names like McDonald’s, Grill’d and Guzman Y Gomez, and some of Australia’s favourite chefs including George Calombaris and Mitch Orr.

It’s been incredible to see the way restaurants have embraced the opportunity to reach new customers and grow their business with food delivery. There’s been plenty of innovation along the way, with virtual restaurants and delivery only kitchens popping up across the country. Virtual restaurants allow business owners to expand into new areas and grow revenue without all the overheads that come with setting up a new dine­in restaurant. These kinds of opportunities simply didn’t exist two years ago and savvy operators are making the most of them.

We’ve also recently introduced new features into the app, like restaurant ratings. With thousands of restaurants and even more dishes available through the app, we wanted to make it easier for consumers to find the best pad thai, rogan josh or chicken burrito in their neighbourhood. User ratings help do that, with a five star rating system that shows consumers what’s hot in their city.

QSR Media: What trends are you noticing from your restaurant customer base?

We're pleased to be helping thousands of restaurant owners tap into the growing food delivery trend, and every week we hear from hundreds of new restaurants keen to sign up and get involved. The top performing restaurants are tailoring menus to ensure food can be ready for pick­up fast and still be delicious upon delivery. Food on UberEATS is typically delivered in under 30 minutes and restaurants keep getting faster.

Finally, we’re using insights and our data to help restaurants better serve the needs of consumers in their city. We saw one chicken restaurant double their revenue after creating a new virtual brand for chicken burgers. The food was prepared on the same site with the same cost base, but they’ve reached new customers through our app. It is transformational and we’ve only just scratched the surface to date.

We're excited to be ushering in new consumer experiences and new opportunities for restaurant partners, and will continue expanding so even more Australians can benefit. Any restaurants keen to sign up can get in touch with us at: t.uber.com/ubereatsinquire

QSR Media: What trends are you noticing from consumers?

When you look at industries like groceries, travel and retail, the percentage of orders that are coming from online channels versus bricks and mortar is changing dramatically. The food business is going through a similar transformation, and it’s absolutely being driven by consumers. They want fast and convenient access to quality food that fits in with their busy lives, whether that be an acai bowl for breakfast, salad for lunch or family roast for dinner.

‘Healthy’ is one of the top search terms used in the app. The lighter and healthier options on the app are proving increasingly popular, with sales of poke bowls, fresh mexican, sushi and salads
growing fast.

Of course, we never begrudge anyone a treat and Aussies love our dessert options. In fact, we sold over 1,000 litres of ice cream during the Bachelor ­ sometimes only a sweet treat will do!

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