At the close of 2019, Uber Eats announced that it will concentrate its services in high performing markets. If it is not the first or second most-used delivery service in a market, it plans to exit that market within a year and a half (by 2021). This will prevent its resources from being diluted in the heavily competitive landscape with other national giants like GrubHub and Door Dash. Uber will also be pushing heavily into the virtual kitchen market, including limited time offerings like Rachel Ray’s 10-week 13-city virtual restaurant promotion surrounding the release of her new cookbook.

Uber will also be moving towards an integration of the Uber driving and food delivery apps, looking to create a cross-pollination of customers and loyalty rewards program that encourages affinity to the brand’s services.

Uber also plans to distinguish its food delivery app from competitors by adding allergy friendly filters that enhance the communication between the customer and the restaurant about special dietary needs and the restaurant’s real-time ability to accommodate such requests. It will also add a utensil opt-in feature aimed to reduce waste. Straws and utensils will only be added upon request rather than automatically included with orders (and potentially tossed as waste for those who did not need them).

What does this mean for Rochester and Buffalo?

If you haven’t done so already, now may be the time to research and weigh the pros and cons of each delivery service if you plan on not implementing your own in-house delivery and proprietary app.  If you already are in contract with a delivery service, now may time to review the contract again. Competition is heating up among all the services and now may be the time to strike to add a new service or renegotiate with your current provider if more favorable terms are being offered to new clients.

Be mindful of terms, like exclusivity clauses, in the contracts for the delivery services. Determining what may be included on the delivery service menu and how the food is packaged and will subsequently delivered will also help you decide on a delivery service that will provide the best customer experience.  Keep in mind, that some services have long term commitments and prices that may not fit within your business practice and budget.

The most important thing to do is read a contract fully before signing it. Be sure to ask questions and consult an attorney if you have any concerns. Attorneys will often charge only a nominal fee to review a contract, only a fraction of what it might cost you to get out of it. Most of the contracts are non-negotiable unfortunately. They ca also be difficult and costly to terminate so take your time to really contemplate the pro’s and con’s before you sign on the dotted line.

Contact the team at Tracy Jong Law Firm if you have questions about the contracts you are about to sign with a third party delivery service.  We’d be happy to evaluate the proposed terms and help you determine if it is a good relationship for your unique business.

Author Bio:

Tracy Jong is an entrepreneur above all. She understands the issues and challenges of small businesses because she lives them every day.  She owns Tracy Jong Law Firm and Next Best Move, Inc., a venture focused on helping breweries and cideries beyond legal matters. She is a shareholder in two promising start-up ventures, OSCR and Zero Valent Nano Metals. She provides business strategy consulting, is a regular speaker to industry groups, and has authored a book on New York liquor law for retailers. For more than a decade, she has taught lawyers, professional engineers and architects through her CLE and PDH courses. She has been published in Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal and has published articles in several industry publications. Connect with her at:   blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram. Visit her website at www.TracyJongLawFirm.com.