Uber Technologies Inc. said triple the staff that works in the delivery of food delivered to home in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while striving to gain market share from regional competitors such as Deliveroo and Just Eat Plc.
The food delivery division of the company, called Uber Eats, represents more than 10% of gross bookings in the business. Uber is also expanding the way users can make payments on food and want to generate more business through their website instead of their application, said Rodrigo Arévalo, head of Uber Eats in the region of Europe, the Middle East. and Africa (EMEA).
Uber Eats will have to increase staff at the EMEA from 300 to 900 next year, said Arévalo. The drivers are distributing restaurant orders in more than 200 cities in 20 countries of the region, after debuting in London in 2016.
The company is looking for ways to attract more users to its website to attract customers from its Just Eat competitor. The vast majority of orders from Uber Eats in EMEA, around 84%, is made through its application. According to Just Eat, the number of users who request meals through the cell phone is closer to 50%, according to company documents.
The expansion of Uber Eats has no problems. At the end of October, a London court assessed whether Uber drivers are freelance, as the company says. If the company is obliged to treat drivers as workers who must receive the minimum wage and paid holidays, other companies with similar models such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo may have to do the same.
Managing the numerous payment options throughout the region was also a challenge. "In Egypt, 94% of financial transactions are made in cash," said Arévalo. "In the Netherlands, 90% of electronic payments are made with iDEAL."
Uber Eats is introducing local payment methods for several regions. In August, he incorporated the Dutch e-commerce payment service iDEAL within its application, and in France, users can pay with prepaid food vouchers. This year, it also allowed cash payments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and South Africa.
Uber Eats and Deliveroo also face a contest for the so-called virtual restaurants, where establishments rent kitchen spaces to prepare food for delivery at home.
Without rooms for diners or waiters, these devices appear where food distribution companies expect a demand and sell their meals through Uber Eats or the Deliveroo application.
Deliveroo has more than 400 virtual restaurants operating in its platform in the United Kingdom. Uber Eats hopes to have a similar number in the country until the end of the year, said Arévalo.