Have you ever wanted some specific sort of food but UberEats doesn’t list that sort of restaurant in your area? It looks like the company’s got you covered by launching a pretty cool new feature that sets up fake restaurants within real ones.
If you, understandably, have no idea what that means, it goes a little something like this. If you really want some soup but there are no dedicated soup places by you, UberEats will find a restaurant that has a different focus but still has soup on the menu and set up a virtual soup place within the real restaurant to make your search for soup easier.
Uber’s concept behind the feature is to fill in “trend gaps” in areas where this is demand for a specific type of dish but not necessarily a large supply of it.
An example that’s currently operating is a restaurant in Chicago called Poke Cafe which serves Hawaiian poke bowls. However, Poke Cafe isn’t a real thing, and is instead a virtual restaurant inside a sushi restaurant called Rice Cafe that only serves the Hawaiian poke bowl items of the menu. According to Restaurant Hospitality, Poke Cafe has already made Rice Cafe about $2,000 from 100 orders.
UberEats product manager Ambika Krishnamachar said, “We can work with existing restaurant partners to create delivery-only menus. [They would] appear as entirely new restaurants on the UberEats app.”
Krishnamachar also indicated that the idea for virtual restaurants is “fairly experimental,” saying, “We’re still trying to understand what the demand gaps are, [it’s still] fairly experimental at this point.”
The feature will only be available in the US in the near future, but UberEats hopes to expand it into other countries next year.