Uber Eats will now cost you more if you order from a restaurant that’s a long way from the delivery address.
The change, which does away with the flat-rate delivery fee of $5, came into effect on Wednesday, Cnet reported.
It means that if you order from a restaurant that’s far away, it’s likely the delivery fee will be in the region of $6 to $8. But if it happens to be close by, you could pay as little as $2 for your food to be delivered.
Uber promises that everyone who lives in a city where Uber Eats operates will have at least some restaurants where deliveries will come in at under $5. A slider in the app lets users choose how much they want to pay for delivery, so, for example, setting it at the $4 mark will exclude all eateries that charge above that fee.
Ben Dreier, Uber Eats’ product manager, told Cnet he had been talking to eaters to learn about how they use the service.
“What became obvious was that we needed to change something about our core fee feature,” Dreier said, suggesting that the standard $5 fee was a barrier for some people when it came to considering Uber Eats as a delivery option. Lower delivery fees for nearby restaurants should therefore lead to increased use of the service — important if Uber Eats is to reach Dreier’s goal of making food delivery “an everyday thing” for people.
Uber Eats operates in nearly 300 cities across 35 countries, and has partnerships with more than 100,000 restaurants, including everything from fast-food chains to fancy eateries.
The service launched in 2015, partly as a way to give Uber drivers earning opportunities during periods in the day when there aren’t so many riders about. Drivers who participate are more likely to stay in busier downtown areas, ideal for when business picks up later in the day when more people start requesting rides. But Uber Eats also operates in markets where Uber’s ridesharing service has yet to gain a foothold, such as Japan.
The Uber Eats app, available for both iDevices and Android, lets you browse local restaurants for inspiration. Alternatively, if you have an idea of what you’re after, you can search directly for a specific restaurant, dish, or cuisine.
Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be given an estimated delivery time and shown the total cost, which includes tax and the delivery fee. Then it’s just a case of tapping to pay with your Uber account and waiting for your meal to arrive.