Uber’s big step forward includes restaurant reservations
The company shared its growth plan last spring; now it’s showing up.
On Uber’s third quarter earnings call, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the month of October was on track to be Uber’s best month (judged by gross bookings) ever. We’ll have to wait for the next quarterly report to see if that’s true, but Uber’s recent messaging has been crystal clear: it plans to continue to use its broad reach to pull customers into the Uber ecosystem, and keep them there.
In May, Uber announced a bunch of new products and features; the company launched many of them in a pre-holiday push this week. This includes some restaurant-friendly options in Uber Explore, an events-booking platform of sorts. Specifically, the company added restaurant reservations into the Uber app, making a selection of spots — all bookable via OpenTable — available to app users.
It’s just the latest reservations tie-in for apps that are also services that are looking to expand. As first reported by this newsletter, DoorDash is playing with similar reservations functionality, testing a partnership with reservations and customer relationship management platform SevenRooms.
My argument for DoorDash’s efforts is that it’s a benefit for restaurants to be listed as offering reservations. With Uber, it’s different; the move seems to be in service of consumers. Uber is positioning itself as the perfect travel companion — pre-book an airport ride, schedule activities like restaurant reservations, enjoy takeout, get recommendations. One of the app’s new features lets you connect your email account and import trip info into the app. (Okay, fine, I’ll bite, I’m a TripIt fan though.)
There’s the promise, and then there’s the actual implementation.
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