For those in the world tired of the friction that is going to a restaurant, looking at a menu, ordering and then talking to dining companions — a new solution has arrived. Sure, it’s possible to have food delivered — but it’s also possible to have the ambiance of eating out with none of the waiting/socializing that comes along with it via Uber Eats Dine-In.
Dine-In is an option within Uber Eats that appears in the app next to the Delivery and Pick-Up in select cities. The customer can order their meal from the menu and then chose to either deliver themselves to the restaurant ASAP, or (in some cases) schedule an arrival time. The app then shows the customer how long the food prep will take and what the estimated travel time to the restaurant will be before supplying them with updates as the food is prepared. The customer can then go in and be served as soon as they take their seat at the table. Tips can be added either in-app or at the table itself.
When using the Dine-In option, Uber reportedly waves delivery and service fees on ordering. Thus far, the feature is on offer in Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego, according to Uber.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to enhance the Eats experience,” and Uber representative told reporters. Uber has also confirmed that all tips paid in-app go to the restaurant and that fees have been waived. But, reports noted, a close comparison of menus found some items were marked up from their restaurant list prices in both Uber Eats Delivery and Dine-In options. It also seems more may be on the way, as the Uber Help Center FAQ has the following statement:
“Uber has been rapidly experimenting with Uber Eats, trying discounted specials, Uber Eats Pool, where you pay less for slower delivery, and $9.99 unlimited delivery subscriptions. It’s steadily becoming an omnivore.”
An omnivore that hopes soon it will be taking an even bigger bite out of some food industry competitors. Allset is a dine-in app that does something similar and has been up and running for four years. OpenTable and Resy could also be in some trouble, since Uber is taking their reservation business and adding ordering right into it.
“I think that more delivery players will be tapping into dine-in space. It’s all about convenience and time-saving. But it’s going to be very difficult for them, given their focus on delivery,” Allset CEO Stas Matviyenko said of Uber becoming a competitor. Matviyenko went on to note that different modes and different apps to serve them will be successful in this time and is not overly worried.