First, Uber made it simpler for South Africans to get around. Next, they applied the concept of getting a ride at the touch of a button to bringing South Africans their favourite meals at their fingertips.
In the six months since UberEATS first launched in the country there have been some fascinating insights into the habits and appetites of South Africans. With businesspeople pre-scheduling breakfast orders to arrive at work at the same time they do and offices are ordering in food or coffee for their business meetings.
UberEATS is also changing the way South Africans entertain. Instead of slaving over the stove and dirtying a sink of dishes, order in large quantities of small dishes to share on Friday and Saturday nights.
Observant eaters have cottoned on to the fact that they are now able to order alcohol, something that they have not yet officially announced. However, eaters are responding well to this offering, requesting drinks for dinner parties and sun downers, but only if it’s on the restaurant’s menu, and they have a ‘off premise license’. Uber has a strict policy that ID must be provided to the courier upon delivery.
The largest order was over R6000, ordered by a generous company for an in office celebration, and in the first 2 months over 100 000 eaters downloaded the app so far.
Over 700 local restaurants are also benefitting from the ease of UberEATS as they use its intelligence for everything, from serving their customers better to deciding on the location of their next store. Restaurants are now exploring fascinating new business models, such as running their entire business online.
Take Bruno Persic for example. Persic, Joint MD at Philly Cheesesteak Co. recognises the potential of the UberEATS app, “we want to be part of the next big thing in food,” says Persic. “After meeting with the UberEATS team we decided to put the idea of a revolutionary “Digital Kitchen” into action. Essentially a digital kitchen is the same restaurant as Philly Cheesesteak Co. without the traditional front of house “dining area”. The key benefit being able to service an area like Sandton without opening a full service restaurant with the burden of exorbitantly high retail rentals of shopping malls or high streets. We honestly believe the Digital Kitchen concept will add a new dimension to dining convenience.”
Now, with the help of a new ‘restaurant manager’ restaurants are able to take their businesses to the next level. The newly unveiled UberEATS Restaurant Manager is becoming the one place restaurants need to go to manage and grow their business. As a first for South Africa and by partnering with UberEATS, restaurants have access to real-time data, which gives them access to their sales, performance, and customer sentiment data in an easy-to-understand format.
They see visualizations of key insights, such as customer satisfaction, most and least popular dishes, average prep time and sales by day. Owners can now see exactly when they are busiest and need more support, whether a new menu is going down well, or if a price change is impacting sales.
With some restaurants increasing their sales by 20-50%, there is no doubt that UberEATS is great for business. Restaurants are employing extra chefs and runners specifically to meet the extra demand that UberEATS is generating. UberEATS have also welcomed over 1000 courier partners since their launch in South Africa.
The UberEATS app is giving restaurants the opportunity to get real-time feedback from their customers on their service experience and favourite dishes. The learnings we have gathered around kitchen structures will also assist restaurants in making the most of their assets to drive new revenues.
UberEATS are now further expanding their reach in Gauteng, launching in Pretoria and Centurion soon, and within Cape Town, they will be launching in Constantia, Wynberg, Tokai, and Plumstead, with their goal to be in all major cities by end of the year or early 2018.
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