Why Does Uber Eats Have a Driver Shortage?

Uber Eats Is Losing Drivers

During the pandemic, restaurants relied on third party apps to deliver their food. Uber Eats is one of the major businesses that restaurants relied on throughout COVID-19.

Now, however, even the delivery giant has a driver shortage. The reasons for this are multifold. Consider the difficult job of an essential food service worker. They’re busy as the face of both Uber Eats and the restaurant for every customer. When problems occur, they’re the one who get most of the flack.

Drivers don’t always leave for dire reasons, though. In some cases, they simply found other jobs. Gigs like Uber Eats were necessary during the pandemic, but now that businesses are opening back up, workers can find positions in their preferred fields.

Why Restaurants Have Stayed

Despite this growing problem, many consumers rely on Uber Eats. Thus restaurants have no choice but to keep using it if they want exposure. Partnering with Uber Eats is marketing in itself. But that’s not enough: Considering the high commissions those apps take, restaurants might not make any money through the app. Yet they hope to convert sales to their direct channels, and it starts with getting noticed there.

Unfortunately, this presented an issue when the driver shortage began. In late July, many restaurants reported a severe backup of orders, and Uber Eats simply didn’t have the drivers to handle them. Restaurants reported that they got messages about a technical outage, yet the app kept taking orders and not answering repeated phone calls to their help line. Though Uber Eats pays for the orders that fall through the cracks, this is damaging to long-term profits.

Even worse, their reliance on Uber Eats throughout the pandemic means they don’t have access to a lot of the crucial customer information needed to start their own delivery channels. They don’t get any contact from the customer unless they call asking about their missing food, so it’s harder to track all that data and make informed business decisions.

The Uber Eats Driver Shortage Hurts Everyone

The company isn’t any happier with the struggle to get couriers, and even customers have felt it. When orders don’t get collected quickly, they go cold or get left at the restaurant completely. If they take too long, people get frustrated and cancel. Some restaurants give out the wasted food to those in need, as food disparity caused by COVID-19 is still very real, but restaurants’ reputations still suffer. Unsatisfied customers won’t come back, and they leave bad reviews which drive away potential new customers. Meanwhile the service workers are getting a lot of the complaints. Considering the labor shortage currently plaguing food service, any additional strain could be disastrous to restaurants.

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