Uber Eats will let people pick up food mid-Uber ride, among other new features

The updates bring more flexibility to how people order things on Uber Eats as the company leans into its large network.
Uber Eats
Photograph courtesy of Uber

Uber Eats is launching a host of new delivery features for consumers, including the ability to pick up a meal in the middle of an Uber ride or order from two businesses at once.

The updates are part of the company's new Go and Get initiatives announced Wednesday that are designed to enhance its mobility and delivery products coming out of the pandemic. In general, the delivery updates bring more flexibility to how and when people can order things on Uber Eats by leveraging its network of drivers, restaurants and other businesses.

A new Pickup and Go feature, for instance, integrates the Eats experience and the ride-hailing side. Uber riders will be able to view restaurants and other merchants along their route and order things for pickup mid-ride.

Customers will also be able to place orders even when a restaurant is closed, so they will be "first in line" when it opens. And they can create multiple, running orders from separate businesses and checkout whenever they want. (Previously, users could only have one order going at a time.)

Uber Eats is also testing the ability for customers to order from two nearby merchants on one ticket. When a customer places a dinner order, for instance, the app can identify a nearby partner business and ask if they want to order something from there. Initial tests will focus on pairing restaurant orders with Uber's convenience store partners 7-Eleven and Wawa. The delivery will be fulfilled by a single driver at no additional cost to the customer.

Uber Eats gif

There's more. The Eats app will include a new Savings Hub that will display all available offers, promotions and discounts in one place. It will also show a user's progress in various restaurant loyalty programs.

And in another overlap with Uber, members of the Eats Pass subscription program will be able to get discounts on both food and rides. Members now pay $9.99 a month for unlimited free delivery from eligible restaurants as well as 5% off food orders. Starting in May, they'll also get 10% off three Uber rides every month.

The new features see Uber generating efficiencies with its two business segments and a network dense with restaurants and retailers. By combining an Uber ride with an Uber Eats order, for example, the company is essentially getting two transactions for the price of one. A similar idea holds for delivering from two businesses with one driver.

"As the network gets more dense, essentially a courier has less ground to cover for the average delivery, and our algorithms are getting smarter in terms of routing, in terms of wait time with restaurants and optimizing every last percentage in order to drive cost per transaction efficiency," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company's fourth quarter earnings call in February.

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