Uber Eats sees 150% revenue increase in 2020 amid pandemic

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Online food ordering and delivery platform Uber Eats experienced a positive spike in many metrics in 2020, including an estimated 152% year-on-year increase in revenue.

The information is contained in a report by TradingPlatforms, which is a London-based education and comparison platform for online traders.

According to the site, Uber Eats generated $4.8 billion (about R67.5bn) in revenue, citing the lockdowns of 2020, compared to $1.9bn in 2019.

“Food delivery services experienced a significant uptick in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing people indoors,” it said.

The website said Uber Eats more than doubled its gross bookings to $30.2bn last year, compared to $14.5bn in 2019.

As of March, Uber Eats holds the second-highest share of the online food delivery market in the US, at 22%.

The website said Uber Eats’ share of the market increased to almost 30% with their recently completed purchase of Postmates, which had an estimated 5% share of the market in the same reporting period.

“Uber Eats has steadily increased its user base over the years, and in 2020 it is estimated that the food delivery service app had 66 million users compared to just 5 million in 2016,” TradingPlatforms said.

It said that Uber Eats also claimed to have increased the number of cities in which it operated to 6 000 this year, a staggering 500% increase from the 1 000 cities in which it operated last year.

According to the website, since many restaurants were closed because of lockdown regulations, many restaurants turned to the food delivery app.

“As a result, in 2020 Uber Eats supported over 600 000 restaurants compared to just 220 000 in 2019, for a 173% year-on-year increase,” it said.

While Uber Eats has experienced such growth, the restaurant sector has struggled financially because of the pandemic.

The National Restaurant Association’s 2021 “State of the Restaurant Industry” report looked at the damage the pandemic caused the industry and millions of its employees across the US. According to the report, the restaurant industry ended 2020 with total sales that were $240bn below the association’s pre-pandemic forecast for the year.

In South Africa, a report published by Statistics SA in September last year stated that restaurant sales were down 100 percent year-on-year in April, 97.7 percent in May, 87.7 percent in June, and 75.9 percent in July in 2020.

Meanwhile, Uber Eats might be in hot water in South Africa. This is after the Competition Commission announced that it will investigate online intermediation markets, including Uber Eats.

Uber Eats is one of the dominant service-delivery platforms in South Africa.

The commission said the investigation will ensure that online intermediation markets remained contestable and competitive.

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