Uber Eats’ U.S. sales surged by around 10% last week from the week before, a nearly unprecedented uptick for this time of the year, particularly given the substantial size of the business, said a person with knowledge of the figure. It shows how the quarantining of people at home amid the coronavirus pandemic has given Uber’s food-delivery service a boost even as its ride-hailing business has dried up.
The data are the first evidence of how the quarantines are helping food-delivery services, at least in revenue and new customers. In addition to gaining extra business, Uber Eats has been able to cut back on financial incentives to sign up drivers, which helps its margins. Last week, Uber Eats saw a 30% increase in people signing up to deliver food, said a person familiar with the figure. That’s likely because gig workers who previously drove for Uber’s ride-hailing business and other such services in the U.S. now have fewer options for work. Meanwhile, Uber Eats is signing up new restaurant chains that previously only worked with rivals like Postmates, as restaurants look for new ways to reach customers.