Doors have swung open, tablecloths are unfurled and menus stand proudly in place across Sydney. While thousands of businesses tackled the shutdowns with enormous creativity, after one hundred plus days of waiting the return of the sear and sizzle of the kitchen, the medley between the front of house and the chefs and the commotion of a busy pass have been long awaited.

To help neighbourhood restaurants make the most of their reopening in New South Wales Uber Eats is introducing new technology to provide more certainty across three areas where restaurant owners will intersect with patrons – on premise, online and in store for pickup orders.

Firstly, for many restaurants dine-in is again their priority, so we’re introducing a dine-in experience that will allow customers to order and pay in a contactless way while seated at a restaurant. This solution will plug into restaurants’ existing suite of tools, while customers can access menus via QR codes or directly through the Uber Eats app. This feature will assist restaurants in their compliance efforts while allowing them to focus on their bookings and delivering exceptional food. 

Secondly, as many restaurants will have to reduce their service area due to restrictions on square meter allowances, certain patrons will inevitably miss out on dining in. Rather than lose a customer wanting to make a reservation online we’re helping restaurants capture that demand by integrating our online ordering option directly onto their website. Restaurants will be able to use their own online presence to steer people to order takeaway from them if their table allocation is exhausted – providing options to use their own staff to make the delivery, or to rely on delivery people on the Uber Eats platform if they don’t have capacity to deliver themselves.

Finally, as we want to help maximise all elements of a restaurant’s business – in store and online – we are continuing to offer restaurants the ability to add on “pick up” as an option. At the same time we’re supercharging how people can track down local restaurants with a new feature on our pickup map which searches using words and food emojis. An eater can now open the Uber Eats in-app map, type what they’re looking for including 🍝🍜🍕🍣 🍔 to find what’s nearby including the distance to the restaurant.

I know many small business owners will be looking to New South Wales to see how these resilient restaurants are negotiating these early steps back towards normal. It’s my team’s hope that our technology can play a small part in making transition a little easier.

In the interim we are continuing to invest in the Enterprise Hub to nurture a valuable online community for restaurants across the country to exchange ideas in an open source environment.

Like so many, I cannot wait to get back to my local because as great as having your food delivered is – nothing compares to seeing it plated up and served with a smile.