Uber for Business announced today the launch of Vouchers for Uber Eats, which lets businesses customize their meal plans for employees and customers to meet any scale, whether it’s an individual’s lunch or a 1,000-person virtual event. The program is an expansion of Uber’s corporate meal program, which launched earlier this year, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
Uber fast-tracked the expansion of Uber Eats for corporate meals earlier this year, shortly after the pandemic forced shelter-in-place orders and many employees started working from home. That program allows companies to customize meal options for remote employees via the Uber Eats app. Through a dashboard, company admin can set rules around when their workers can order meals and how much they can spend.
Vouchers expands on this, allowing companies to get even more granular about how they manage corporate spending on meals. Today’s press release outlines a few uses for Vouchers, including providing meals for attendees of large-scale virtual events, treating potential clients to lunch at virtual sales meetings, and virtual lunch gatherings for remote employees.
Via the aforementioned dashboard, companies can set controls on the start and end dates of a voucher, set limits on the number of orders, as well as use existing features like ordering times and spending limits.
They’re not the only third-party food delivery service to be eyeing the corporate catering space as a way of diversifying. DoorDash offers a similar program that includes corporate versions of the DashPass, the service’s monthly subscription service. Grubhub Corporate also offers individual and group orders for companies.
For many, working from home is here to stay, even with states’ economies slowly reopening. That makes the concept of corporate food delivery a lucrative business to be in right now for these third-party services. And with the U.S. now officially in a recession, tools like Vouchers let companies spend as much or as little as they want to on corporate meals, allowing them to offer aspects of catering without expensive, long-term commitments.
This customizable approach to corporate catering could also be an important asset to offer long into the future. There’s no knowing yet how many workers will actually return to the office and whether traditional catering will even have a place in that setting. Scores of employees all hovering over the same buffet table doesn’t exactly sound appetizing in the sage of social distancing, and it’s possible companies won’t even have the in-person numbers to justify huge orders like they used to. A sliding-scale option with a focus on virtual get-togethers could become the norm going forward.