Speaking at the British Hospitality Association (BHA) summit this month, Matthieu Proust said that operators needed to address the ‘annoying’ issue of delivery drivers constantly entering restaurants while diners were waiting for their food.
“[It’s] something that we will work on with our partners…and the way we get round it is thinking about how restaurants need to be set up to accommodate another activity,” he said.
“Maybe that means adding a specific entrance to make sure both experiences run smoothly.
“We think delivery can become something that people use daily, but there is nothing that will replace the experience people have in restaurants.”
The future of delivery
UberEats launched in London in 2016, and is aiming to expand to 40 UK locations by the end of this year.
Proust added that the company was looking to build a long-term base in the UK, which included having an ‘honest’ discussion with partners over service fees.
“We are not building a business that will disappear in a few years…so we need to build together based on a business model that works for [restaurants] and for us,” he said.
“The future is interesting. UberEats’ mission is to make sure anyone can eat well, effortlessly, at any time. The thing that really matters to us is the ‘anyone’. If you live in central London there’s a lot of choice, but if you live in the suburbs it’s slightly more difficult. So how do you solve the issue of price and location?”
Uber has indicated its interest in delivery-only kitchens, which are currently being pioneered in the UK by the Deliveroo Editions platform.
UberEats trialled a pop-up delivery kitchen in Toronto in May, and has launched a delivery-only menu with New York chef Michael White based out of his Ristorante Morini kitchen.
While Proust did not comment on whether the group was considering launching a similar platform in the UK, he said the idea could address some of the issues with the current model.
“On one side you don’t interrupt your normal restaurant experience and you improve your economics by having a space that only does delivery,” he said.