Talking UberEats With Jason Droege
Head of UberEverything Jason Droege.
Companies everywhere are claiming they’re the Uber of their particular industry—from flower delivery to laundry, and even medical marijuana. So when the real Uber decides it’s going beyond its ride-hailing app with a global footprint to expand to other on-demand markets, people notice.
Could there soon be an Uber for everything? I had the chance to sit down with the man whose actual title is Head of UberEverything after he spoke as part of the National Restaurant Association’s Signature ’16 keynote presentation Sunday, May 22, during the annual NRA Show in Chicago. Jason Droege, a former Taser executive, joined Uber two years ago and says the company is in a unique position to leverage its extensive logistics network as its UberEats and UberRush delivery services expand to new markets.
“We saw the rise from a consumer demand standpoint and it’s a business model that makes sense for everybody, the customers, the restaurants and us,” says Droege of UberEats, the on-demand food delivery service that’s now in 14 cities across three continents. “We want to help restaurants leverage the kitchen capacity that they have and growth their business.”
But how does UberEats expect to stand out among the already crowded third-party delivery space that includes services such as Postmates, GrubHub and Caviar? As Droege explains it, the most important thing in delivering a quality experience for the consumer and restaurant is “having that driver arrive at exactly the right moment” to ensure the shortest drive time for that particular meal.
“We do a better job of that than anyone else,” says Droege, noting 14 minutes is the average time globally from when UberEats drivers get food from the restaurant to the time the consumer receives it.
Droege says UberEats takes a “food first, food only” approach and works with its restaurant partners to ensure delivery is an extension of the restaurant’s brand. That means having local UberEats teams on the ground in each city that work with the restaurants on everything from professional food photography to menu selection and even packaging. UberEats drivers get additional training and have access to additional resources covering topics such as interacting with customers.
A rating system similar to what Uber uses for its rider app not only lets customers rate their UberEats driver but also each menu item they ordered. “That feedback is crucial,” says Droege, “people want to be able to rate the whole experience.”
Ultimately, says Droege, “We’re a marketplace. We have to give eaters what they want.”
We’ll have more from Droege and the NRA Show in the next issue of Franchise Times. The show runs through May 24 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.