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Uber Eats users say food delivery apps have made it easier to discover new restaurants. Photo/Michael Craig
A new report by Uber estimates that the ride-sharing giant contributed $1.2 billion to New Zealand’s economy last year.
The San Francisco-based company says this represents 0.3% of the country’s GDP,
and it produced an additional $1 billion in consumer surplus, $560 million from Uber Eats alone.
In Uber’s latest economic impact report, Uber says its Uber Eats platform alone has encouraged Kiwis to support local restaurants to the tune of $88 million in additional revenue, with a gross impact of $930 million for the entire New Zealand economy.
Dr Lindsay Neill, a senior lecturer at Auckland University of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Tourism, said the numbers were believable given Uber’s dominant position in the market and in the world. catering sector.
“I’m not surprised they’re claiming a substantial contribution to New Zealand’s economy. You just have to look at the Covid situation, the convenience Uber is bringing to people through food delivery , taxi services,” Neill said. the Herald.
“We all feel a little insecure – it hasn’t gone away – the restaurant industry has opened up, but some people are still hesitant to dine out, so they could still have their meals delivered at home dining. It’s about time, place and space, and I think Uber fills a wonderful need.”
Neill said the controversy surrounding fees charged by companies such as Uber for delivery had been taken in the “stride” of users and the issue needed to be viewed “holistically”.
“It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Food costs are going up, labor costs are going up – it’s an extremely competitive job market, it’s very difficult for restaurants and hospitality businesses to achieve profits and here’s another expense to add to the list. But we need to offset that and think about it more holistically,” Neill said.
“We can either sell meals through Uber or write them off and not use them, and I think a lot of people choose the former over the latter because it makes business sense.”
Any good company should be able to absorb the cost of merchant fees, he said.
“Consumers are willing to pay more for convenience and if restaurants and hospitality companies calculate their costs correctly, this can be slain not only throughout Uber delivery, but also slightly offset by on-site dining – a bit of creative accounting, perhaps.”
Uber’s report, which looked at its impact on both its rides and the Uber Eats marketplace, found that nearly 70% of users said they felt the app encouraged them to order from restaurants they had never tried before.
More than 85% of Uber Eats users said food delivery apps made it easier to discover new restaurants, and 52% said it helped “improve their quality of life” when they weren’t. not allowed to eat in the restaurant.
Neil said the Covid-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to be a successful hotel business without using a delivery platform such as Uber or rival companies such as Menulog or the new market entrant. Delivery Easy – and while restaurants weren’t sold on the idea, it was what their customers wanted.
“The market decides, I think, not necessarily the restaurant.”
US food delivery company DoorDash expanded into New Zealand in June, joining market leader Uber, Menulog and a handful of locally owned and operated startups.
Neil said the growing competition within the space was good – and acknowledged “where the market is at”. He said having more players made prices more competitive, which was good for consumers and businesses.
He described food delivery businesses as another “avenue of opportunity” for the hospitality industry and said he believed these businesses were sustainable and present for the long term as demand for home delivery continued to grow. .
“They’re here for the long haul…there might be a decrease in their presence as people recover from Covid and we’re celebrating that by going straight out. However, the quest for convenience trumps that, and many people who have developed an Uber habit will pursue it.”
Other findings from Uber’s report, which used a mix of consumer polls, driver surveys and new economic modeling to generate its results, highlighted that Uber believes its drivers have earned $68 million more last year in revenue – an average of 3% more than them. with rival ride-sharing companies.