Uber Eats is putting consumers in the driver’s seat with a new feature without delivery fees.
The on-demand food service from ride-hailing company Uber launched a pickup feature nationwide Friday, officials shared exclusively with USA TODAY. The feature was tested in San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas and Austin, Texas, prior to the roll-out.
“This gives eaters more flexibility in how they access food and provides them the option to order through Uber Eats and collect the food themselves,” said Elspeth Rollert, Uber Eats US head of restaurant brand marketing, noting there’s “no phone calls or delivery fees.”
Uber Eats biggest rivals – DoorDash, Grubhub and Postmates – already offer the ability to pickup orders along with a growing number of restaurants.
Along with adding the feature to Uber Eats Friday, the company released Eats Pickup Guides powered by its Jump bike and scooter program for six cities: Miami; Denver; Los Angeles; Sacramento, California; Austin; and Washington D.C.
Matt Wing, Uber New Mobility spokesman, said restaurants typically set prices on the app for items to be same price as what they sell in stores.
With pickup orders, consumers can use Uber Rewards to earn a point for every eligible dollar spent on rides and Uber Eats. With every 500 points, earn rewards like money off a future ride or meal. Jump is not currently in the loyalty program, Wing said.
Digital orders growth
To avoid waiting for food and drink orders, restaurants including Starbucks, Dunkin’, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill and pizza chains also already offer pickup options in their apps.
On Thursday, Chick-fil-A, which first introduced mobile ordering in 2014, announced the addition of dine-in mobile ordering, allowing orders to be placed from the app while sitting at the table and eliminates the need to stand in line to order.
For national and regional chains with loyalty programs, some consumers may opt to continue using individual restaurant apps to earn rewards and discounts.
According to a June report from NPD Group, digital restaurant orders have grown by 23% over the past four years and represent 3.1 billion visits and $26.8 billion, which is more than 3% of the $863 billion industry.
The market research firm, which defines digital orders as meals or snacks ordered by app, internet or text message, forecasts orders will grow by double digits through 2020 with growth across delivery, on-premises orders and carryout.
“Digital ordering has raised the bar on convenience and with it the customer experience,” David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America, said in a statement. “Digital ordering overall and apps have provided a path to market to consumers on a one-to-one basis and offer them a restaurant experience customized to their needs.”
Pickup deal with Jump
If you’re in one of the six cities with Uber Eats Pickup Guides – Miami; Denver; Los Angeles; Sacramento; Austin; and D.C. – you can save on a ride with a Jump electric bike or scooter and a pickup purchase at select restaurants. Each guide features three to five restaurants and maps out the locations.
Through Dec. 18, first-time Jump riders can get up to $5 off their first bike or scooter ride when they enter the code JUMPEATS19 in the payments tab of the Uber app.
Use the JUMPEATS19 code on the Uber Eats app before placing a pickup order to get $3 off an order, which is good for up to five different pickup orders at participating restaurants through Dec. 18.