If you’re looking to get around town and aren’t keen on getting price gouged by taxi cabs, you can’t really go wrong with Uber Pool. As you’re likely familiar with by now, Uber Pool offers passengers incredibly cheap rates because it gives riders going in a similar direction the ability to split the fare. And now comes word that Uber is looking to employ that same strategy to Uber Eats, the company’s food delivery arm.
Originally brought to light by TechCrunch, the ride sharing giant has confirmed that it’s been busy testing a new service dubbed Uber Pool Eats. As the name somewhat implies, Uber Pool Eats will enable drivers to pick up multiple orders from a single restaurant and deliver the food to customers who live in the same vicinity.
The obvious question, though, is what happens if a single restaurant doesn’t have multiple orders outstanding? Well, here’s where it gets interesting. In order to keep all parties happy, Uber Eats Pool will offer incentives to customers in order to encourage ordering from a group of particular restaurants.
“$2 off your order — share a courier with a nearby order,” the promotion announces atop the Uber Eats home screen above a carousel of restaurants where you can grab the discount. It’s equipped with a countdown timer to when it will refresh the list of restaurants that follows users on an eatery’s order page. This triggers a sense of urgency to hurriedly buy through Uber Eats (and not check competitors), but also to ensure orders come in close enough together that the first one cooked won’t have to wait long for the last before they’re all scooped up for delivery.
All in all, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea. And with the number of food delivery services seemingly growing by the day — from GrubHub to DoorDash and many more in between — Uber Eats Pool sounds like a smart way to bolster business. While I’m not sure that a $2 discount in and of itself will be enough to move the needle when one takes into account delivery fees, taxes, and tip, the overarching strategy appears to be well thought out. Hopefully there will be some more substantive discounts once the service goes live across the board.