Uber Eats is introducing a new feature that makes it easier for people to send meals to friends and family. This is the latest in a string of recent offerings from Uber designed to counter the drop in demand for its core services due to COVID-19.
While it was already possible to buy food and send it to anyone else through Uber Eats, the recipient was not previously able to keep tabs on the progress of the delivery. Now Uber Eats will allow buyers to share a tracking link that shows the real-time status of the order.
The feature, which is rolling out globally from today, will enable users to copy and paste a link into any other app, be that SMS, WhatsApp, or email.
The launch comes shortly after Uber Eats opened to telephone orders in the U.S., expanding its potential customer base to millions of people who don’t yet own a smartphone. A few weeks back, Uber also launched a new delivery service that allows people to utilize its vast transport network to send anything to anyone — this could be to lend a guitar to a friend who lives on the other side of town or swap an exercise bike for some dumbbells.
With billions of people around the world forced into lockdown during the coronavirus crisis, many tech firms have had to adapt. Uber, whose core ride-hailing business has been decimated by the pandemic, has had to get creative to get its network of drivers back on the roads and keep up with new demands. This has meant fast-tracking the global launch of Uber Eats for business, for instance, and expanding into grocery deliveries.
However, it won’t be business as usual for Uber for some time, and news emerged today that Uber plans to cut its workforce by 14%, which translates to around 3,700 lost jobs. Due to social distancing measures and cautious consumers, people will likely be traveling less and finding more time to cook for themselves at home.