Uber needs to sort out public concerns about its workers’ wage worries to stimulate UberEats' growth

Stephan Shakespeare
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UberEats is competing with Deliveroo in London
Uber launched its UberEats service in a bid to take on Deliveroo (Source: Getty)

The food delivery sector is booming and Uber is getting on board with its newly launched UberEats service.

Competing with rivals such as Deliveroo, Uber’s bosses will be hoping that those that have got on board with the company as a taxi service will be attracted to its new venture as well.

YouGov Profiles data indicates that there are encouraging signs for its food delivery service among its car customers.

Just over one in 10 (11 per cent) current Uber users have a takeaway several times a week, compared to five per cent of the population as a whole.

In addition to this, just under a quarter (two per cent) of the same group orders a takeaway several times a month, against 17 per cent of the wider public.

Read more: In defence of Uber’s “heartless” New York bombing surge pricing

On the face of it this would appear to be a money-spinning opportunity as a quarter (25 per cent) of Uber users spend £6 to £10 on takeaways every month and approaching one in five (19 per cent) say they spend £11 – £20.

However, while there is big potential, there are warning signs about a downside both for UberEats and others in the market.

Controversy surrounds the ‘gig economy’ and has put pressure on brands with ‘self-employed’ drivers.

Also, drivers have complained that brands can sometimes fail to pay them either the minimum or living wage as well as having concerns about the lack of secure employment, holiday pay and guaranteed hours.

YouGov BrandIndex data shows that perception of Uber’s main operational arm has suffered due to negative press coverage.

Read more: UberEats drivers to protest against pay cuts

It’s Impression score currently stands at minus 10 among those that are either former customers or those that have never used the service.

However the score is far healthier among current customers (plus 50) of its services.

So while there is an obvious appetite for the service UberEats provides, as well as a clear opportunity to engage consumers of its car service, for the brand’s ventures to truly take off it may have to placate the public’s concerns about its workers’ wage worries.

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