Game days have always been a huge draw at Lottie’s Pub, a local classic that’s been co-owned and operated by Chicago native Dan McCarthy since 2002—the year his first child was born. 19 years (and five kids!) later, the crowd in early winter 2020 was bigger than ever before COVID-related lockdowns hit the city in March.
Dan and the management team had no time to waste. With huge sports crowds on hold, they’ve reinvented the bar experience completely, taking over the 25×100 space next door to bring to life “Camp Lottie’s,” a glamping-inspired, family-friendly venue featuring afternoon movies, and rebranded gift cards as Lottie’s Bucks—a huge hit on social media. They’ve dreamt up creative menu pairings for takeout and delivery—the most popular being the taco and margarita kit for two—and as a result, invited a new set of loyal customers.
“It’s been a really tough year, especially with how cold winters are in Chicago,” Dan says. “But my team has been tougher. Lottie’s has always been a destination and we’re keeping it that way. We might have to bundle up this Sunday, but we’ll be out there. No question.”
It’s people like Dan who inspire us to work harder every day to deliver for the restaurant industry and help America support the local restaurants they love.
That’s why we’re announcing Eat Local— $20 million in support efforts over the next six months to show up for our partners as they continue rising to the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. We’re encouraging the whole country to join us in the effort, and to Eat Local however you can. And, we’ve brought in some friends to help raise awareness:
Among other things, we hope our Eat Local effort will drive renewed demand to local restaurants, support those who are struggling, and provide certainty around cash flow by continuing to waive a number of fees.
Eat Local: Driving Demand
As more of us enjoyed this football season at home than ever before, we’ll accelerate demand this weekend with $0 Delivery Fee for all consumers ordering from local independent restaurants. We know that these types of promotion aren’t just good for consumers—orders to independent restaurants have jumped by as much as 45% with $0-delivery fee promotions, so we’re excited to score a touchdown for small businesses across the US through the big game. And to help our users give directly, we’re also bringing back the Restaurant Contributions feature in the Uber Eats app—with Uber matching every contribution this week dollar for dollar.
Eat Local: US Grant Program
We’re ear-marking $4.5 million in small business microgrants for local restaurants with five or fewer locations who are active with Uber Eats or Postmates across the United States. Recipients will be chosen based on a number of factors, including locale, civic engagement, need and the program, including the distribution of funds will be administered by LISC. Grants can be used for anything from cold-weather dining setups and personal protective equipment to needs as critical as helping to meet payroll. For more information on the Restaurant Forward grant program, visit eatlocaleffort.com.
These grants build on the program Uber is supporting with the Black Businesses Matter Matching Fund launched with chef Marcus Samuelsson in January, as we know black businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) applauds Uber’s commitment to small business owners who rely on its platform to reach customers, particularly as restaurants navigate a challenging winter,” said Ron Busby, President of USBC. “Black-owned restaurants have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and we are delighted that our members will benefit from the $4.5 million grant program and continued waived fees.”
Eat Local: Reduced Fees + Options
Over the past year we’ve looked—and looked again—at ways we could provide financial relief to restaurants when they needed it most. Today we’re happy to be able to extend the 0% commission rate for all Pickup orders facilitated by Uber Eats through June 30, 2021 for all U.S. restaurants. We are also continuing to offer Daily Payouts to merchants at no charge for the same time frame, ensuring daily cashouts through the summer.
We also introduced Online Ordering this year—a simple way for restaurants to add ordering to their websites and start accepting orders almost immediately. Today we’re announcing that we’re covering all fees for independent restaurants, including payment processing fees, on every order placed through this tool through the end of June.
As we head into another uncertain season, our team will continue to listen to, learn from, and build for the success of the merchants and restaurants who choose to partner with Uber Eats. We know that it’s their determination, creativity, and entrepreneurship that’s keeping their doors open and their kitchens delivering for their customers in cities and towns across the U.S.
And we’re proud to do our small part to support. Together, we can move forward in 2021.