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Uber puts Eats back into its ridesharing app to tempt you to order more meals

Uber launched its stand-alone Uber Eats app in 2016, breaking it out of the Uber app two years after the launch of the meal-delivery service. Now it’s folding elements of the Eats app back into the main Uber app.

News of Uber’s efforts to gently coax its riders into ordering from Eats was confirmed by the company to TechCrunch this week.

While the main Uber Eats app will remain available to customers, the company is keen to explore new cross-promotion opportunities that could benefit both its ridesharing business and meal-delivery operation. For riders, it may mean greater temptation to order a meal through Eats.

The San Francisco-based company is testing ways to order Eats meals directly in Uber’s ridesharing app by way of a web view, doing away with the need for a rider to go through the rigmarole of downloading the Eats app if they don’t already have it.

It means riders could see a promotion for Uber Eats during an Uber trip, perhaps tempting them to place an order to take care of dinner for when they get home.

According to TechCrunch, the ability to order Eats deliveries within the main ridesharing app is currently available to all iOS users in places where Uber isn’t operating its bikesharing and scootersharing services, as it’s thought that the addition of Eats would overly clutter the app’s interface. The Android version, meanwhile, is currently available to 17% of Uber riders, with that figure set to increase as the feature rolls out globally. It’s possible you’ve already used it.

Other cross-promotion efforts by Uber include the launch of a rewards program toward the end of 2018. Points are awarded each time you use the company’s different services, and when you accrue enough you can exchange them for discounts on rides and meal deliveries, or receive other benefits such as flexible ride cancellations or price protection for regularly taken trips.

Uber hopes its various offerings will help to build brand loyalty to make it the go-to service for rides and meal delivery. Recent figures from Uber revealed that Eats is expanding fast, scoring $536 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 89% on the same quarter a year earlier.

The growth is largely attributable to expansion into more markets, though some of the spending to make that happen led the company as a whole to bleed a billion bucks in the first quarter.

Uber Eats launched in 2014 (as Uber Fresh) within the main Uber app as a service offering lunchtime-only meal deliveries in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin. It now operates in around 500 cities globally.

Uber has plenty of competition in the meal-delivery space. Here’s our pick of the some of the best services available today.

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