As pandemic-related restrictions continue to roll back, Uber Eats is adding new group ordering features.
The company will now let people split their bills on its website and set checkout deadlines for group orders. Uber Eats is also adding auto reminders for people to get their orders in on time if they’re with a group. Once one person selects a restaurant, they can invite others to join the order, and can decide whether to pay for everyone or divide the bill among others. The host can also set a checkout deadline up to seven days in advance.
Uber Eats is adding new group ordering features.Image: Uber
This is basically a perfect feature for office workers, so Uber's timing is on the nose. Now that people are returning to offices (either full-time or on a hybrid schedule), a tool that makes it possible to order lunch together in a less annoying way is useful.
The bill-splitting feature is a natural step for Uber Eats, given that Uber's ride-hailing arm has a built-in feature for riders to divvy up the fare. Uber and Uber Eats have also let users split the bill through Venmo since 2018, allowing people who don't use Uber to chip in on the bill. But the company has increasingly shown that it wants to be the app you use for everything, from calling a car to ordering a last-minute gift, and adding more features is another way to convince people to stay on the platform (and to get others to join it, too).
Group ordering never exactly stopped, but it never got a chance to pick up, either. Uber Eats introduced group ordering at the end of 2019, but people presumably didn’t use it much when the COVID-19 pandemic hit a few months later. At the time, the company said both consumers and restaurants showed a lot of interest in group ordering.
Uber Eats followed DoorDash, Postmates and others in rolling out a group ordering feature. DoorDash’s group ordering tool has been around since around 2015, and Postmates launched group ordering on its app just a few months before Uber Eats.