Uber Eats launches bill-splitting tool for group takeout
Whether it’s a night out or dinner at a fancy restaurant, covering the cost of your friend’s meal has got to be one of the most annoying experiences ever.
Recognizing this, Uber has now launched a new bill-splitting tool that makes it much easier – and fairer – to order and pay for group takeout.
When placing an order, Uber Eats users who are typically grouped together with a massive bill payment can now choose to select a group order.
Each member of a group then receives a link sent to their phone to pay for their own individual items as part of the group order.
The new feature should counteract the actions of that friend who always says he’ll refund your dinner but never does.
With the new bill-splitting tool, Uber Eats users can force their friends to prepay for their meal so they can’t escape paying their part of the bill
Uber Eats is an online food ordering and delivery platform launched by ride-sharing giant Uber in 2014 (file photo)
HOW TO PLACE A GROUP ORDER
– On Uber Eats, choose a merchant you want to order from. Select ‘Group Order’ in the app (or ‘Start Group Order’ if on ubereats.com)
– Edit bulk order details such as shipping address, an optional deadline for everyone to select their items, or an optional spend limit
– Select “Invite guests”. This will give you a link to send to everyone in your group
– Add your own items
– Once everyone has added their items, select “View Order” and “Proceed to Checkout”
– If the bulk order is ready, select ‘Lock order and continue’. By locking it, guests cannot modify or add other elements. If not ready, select “Return”
– Check the delivery details again and click “Next”
– Select ‘Place bulk order’
Uber showed off the new feature, which it describes as a first for a delivery app, in a blog post on its website.
“We know Uber Eats consumers love bringing people together,” the post read. “We also know they don’t like the financial responsibility of ordering for everyone. We understood.
“Now, for the first time ever on a delivery app, anyone can create a group and allow individuals to order from the same restaurant and pay whatever they want.”
Usually on a food delivery app, when someone places a single order for multiple people, they (“the host”) have to wave their phone around so people can choose the dish they want.
The host is then the one who has to foot the entire bill, meaning they have to rely on the decency of their friends to pay them back – which doesn’t always happen.
With the new tool, Uber Eats users can instead initiate a group order on the app, by going to a restaurant’s page, tapping three dots in the corner, then selecting “order from group”.
They can then invite group members from their phone contacts, who will receive a link via text message to choose and pay for the food they want.
Group members will need to pay for their individual food items before the order can be placed.
Uber points out that because all individual groceries are ordered together, they will not all arrive at the chosen address separately.
Uber’s new tool makes it much easier – and fairer – to order and pay for group takeout (file photo)
UBER EATS DELIVERS FOOD IN SPACE
Uber Eats can officially be described as out of this world after the company announced it had sent an order to the International Space Station (ISS).
The company has partnered with Yusaka Maeawa, the Japanese entrepreneur who traveled to the ISS, to hand-deliver canned Japanese meals to astronauts.
The delivery was made Dec. 11 at 9:40 a.m. ET after traveling 248 miles and eight hours and 34 minutes since Maezawa departed Earth.
Dishes include miso-boiled mackerel, bowl of beef cooked in a sweet sauce, stewed chicken with bamboo shoots, and braised pork.
Read more: Uber Eats sent to space
As part of the tool, the host also has the option to set a deadline for everyone to select their items.
Deadlines can be set at a specific time (for example, March 10 at 5:30 p.m.), up to seven days in advance, giving the rest of a group plenty of time to place their order for future events like group lunches at work.
Users who miss the deadline will not be able to add to the order. However, a warning message will appear informing the host that not everyone has placed their order yet and asking them to confirm if they want to continue.
The bill splitting tool is optional, as there are of course people generous enough to pay for all of their friends’ meals.
If users are feeling generous, they have the option to pay for everyone but set a spending limit so their friends don’t get too carried away.
The only potential issue is that group members who receive the text will need to download the Uber Eats app if they haven’t already, which could lead to creative excuses from stingy people – like “I don’t don’t own a smartphone.
Uber Eats was launched by San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant Uber in 2014 and is operational in more than 6,000 cities in 45 countries.
Last year, the service gave users the option to simply send a food emoji to order their favorite dish, be it pizza, sushi or a burrito.
Uber said the feature is useful for people on vacation or looking to find something quickly on the way home from work.
Uber Eats and Deliveroo may also soon have to settle for further market opposition – from Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok.
In December, it was revealed that TikTok was working on a new service called TikTok Kitchen, which will serve dishes first revealed on the app, such as baked feta pasta, corn ribs and “pasta chips”.
FETA PASTA, CORN RIBS AND ‘PASTA CHIPS’: TIKTOK opposes UBER EATS AND DELIVEROO WITH THE LAUNCH OF ‘TIKTOK KITCHEN’
TikTok is taking on Uber Eats and Deliveroo with a new food delivery service called TikTok Kitchen that features menu items based on viral videos.
Scheduled to launch in the US in spring 2022, TikTok Kitchen will allow customers to order dishes originally created by TikTok users in their short video posts.
These include baked feta noodles, corn ribs and “pasta chips” – baked pasta shapes coated in cheese and air fried, perfect for dipping.
‘Viral’ menu items include baked feta pasta, corn ribs and ‘pasta chips’ (left) – forms of cooked pasta coated in cheese and air fried
TikTok Kitchen will be a “virtual restaurant” that will serve customers exclusively through delivery and pickup from orders placed online and over the phone.
TikTok has partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts, an Orlando, Florida-based marketing company, for the service.
Read more: TikTok takes on Deliveroo with ‘Kitchen’ food delivery service