Each December, we take time to look back at the past year – from where we traveled, to what we ate, and so much more. But as we all well know, this year has been unlike any other. 

In March, everything changed. As the pandemic took hold, the world came to a screeching halt and in just a few days, we went from connecting over 16 million trips a day to urging our riders to stay home. We committed to move only what mattered most: getting first responders to work, and getting food to those who needed it. And as everyone stayed home to stay safe, we found meaningful ways to use the Uber app.

By the numbers

  • 10 Million: We have provided 10 million rides and deliveries of food to healthcare workers, seniors, and others in need, free of charge.
  • $20 Million: Using the new donations feature in the Uber Eats app, customers contributed more than $20M to help their favorite restaurants. 
  • $50 Million: We have allocated $50 million to purchase health & safety supplies for drivers and delivery people across the world.
  • 30 Million: We have purchased about 30 million masks/face covers, and have distributed them to more than 2.5 million drivers and couriers. 
  • 600,000: We’ve sent 600,000 canisters of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to drivers in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Dallas and Washington D.C.
  • 231 Million: We have completed 231 million mask verifications across Eats and Rides since we launched the feature in an effort to keep our community safe. 
  • 99.5%: To date, 99.5 percent of trips have no reported mask issues. 
  • $24 Million: We provided $24 million in financial assistance for drivers and delivery people around the world who needed to stop earning on the Uber app due to COVID-19.
  • $800 Million: We committed $800 million to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to electric vehicles by 2025.
  • 0: We pledged to become a fully zero-emission platform by 2040.

Gratitude in crisis

Despite all of the adversity, folks were more thankful than ever this year, tipping more than 70% of the time, and 30% more generously than before. The states that tipped the most? Pennsylvania, Delaware and Michigan. 

While riders and eaters across the world showed gratitude by tipping, they wrote kind notes, too:

  • Fantastic service and riveting conversation! Felt like I’ve known him my entire life. [New York City]
  • Gave me a mask when I forgot – real superhero. Thank you ! [Atlanta]
  • You are an angel in this world, so nice to meet you! [New Jersey]
  • You’re seriously the best driver I’ve ever had. Great conversation and so accommodating. If I could request you every single ride I would. [Salt Lake City]
  • It felt more like I was getting a ride from a friend rather than a driver I didn’t know <3 [Dallas]

There’s no doubt people everywhere relied on delivery more than ever this year, and helped support restaurants when the culinary community needed it most. And as part of our mission to help folks get more of what they needed this year, we launched Uber Grocery and Uber Connect.

A few food trends

The most popular day of the week for food deliver in 2020 was Friday, and the most popular time of the day to place an order was 6:00 PM. And while this year’s circumstances made it difficult to spend quality time with loved ones, our customers found new ways to show love and share meals. Using the “Share my Delivery” feature, one eater even sent treats over 10,535 miles away from San Francisco to Johannesburg. 

And naturally, we noticed more than a few key food trends emerge this year:

  • Comfort reigns supreme: While folks were stuck at home, they counted on comfort foods. In fact, 2020’s most searched and ordered foods include burgers and fries, burritos, pad thai and mac and cheese. We saw eaters tend towards California rolls, chicken tikka masala, miso soup and mozzarella sticks, too 🙂
  • Family dinners became the new norm: Families in Orange County, Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and Orlando may have spent quarantine eating together most often – we saw folks in those four cities order from our ‘Family Style Meals’ menu most often.
  • Morning buzz: While many people shifted to working from home this year, they still found ways to get their morning buzz – especially in San Juan, NYC and Miami, where we saw the most coffee orders on Uber Eats. 
  • Quarantine cravings: During quarantine, requests for “extra sauce,” “no onion,” and “no cucumber” increased the most while requests for “no bacon,” “extra crispy”, and “dressing on the side” decreased. 
  • A new way to explore: While traveling the world was more difficult this year, our eaters found ways to travel across cuisines. American, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese foods were the most popular, followed by Thai, Indian, French, Caribbean and Greek.
  • Penn State loves a late night: Our eaters like to stay up late, especially in State College, PA where we saw the most late night deliveries. As for the early risers, Kauai tops the list for the most early morning deliveries. 
  • Picky eaters. Eaters in Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee and Nevada seemed to be the pickiest this year, as these states were most often adding special instructions to their orders. The most laid back? People in Delaware, Vermont, Wyoming, Utah and North Dakota hardly ever added special instructions.
  • Healthy habits: We all know how difficult it was to opt for healthy items in quarantine, but diners in New Hampshire, Los Angeles, El Paso, Ventura and the Rio Grande Valley were the most health conscious this year, ordering the most green juice in the U.S.
  • Mind your manners: The most polite states are Montana, Vermont, Oregon, Idaho and Washington – they say “please” and “thank you” the most in their instructions!

As we look ahead to 2021, we’re wondering what everyone will be ordering in the new year. So we took a look at which food searches are accelerating in popularity on Uber Eats, and uncovered a few key trends rising to the top. Sriracha is hot as ever, oat milk is the reigning queen of the dairy-free world, and toast still soothes the soul. In addition to cauliflower and celery remaining popular, we’re seeing flowery foods on the rise, too.

Thank you for safely riding, driving and eating with Uber this year – we look forward to being a part of your 2021.