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Uber Offers Free Eats to First Responders

By Rich Smith - Mar 16, 2020 at 10:48AM

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Uber Eats will deliver 300,000 free meals to government workers.

Uber (UBER -1.11%) announced a series of measures aimed at mitigating the effects of Coronavirus on its workers, its Uber Eats restaurant customers, and on the American economy at large.

Tackling those in reverse order, in the headline announcement, Uber said it is "committing 300,000 free meals on Uber Eats to first responders and healthcare workers in US and Canada, in coordination with local and state and provincial governments."  

Hand emerges from laptop offering platter of food

Image source: Getty Images.

Uber Eats does not actually make food itself, however. It was unclear from the announcement whether Uber Eats would be picking up the tab on the food bills as well as providing free delivery, or only delivering (perhaps donated foods) for free -- but the implication appears to be the former.  

For its restaurant customers, Uber said it has "waived the Delivery Fee for the more than 100,000 independent restaurants across US & Canada on Uber Eats." This offer does not appear to extend to large restaurant chains such as McDonald's, for which Uber Eats delivers, but rather at shoring up smaller businesses less able to withstand the current crisis. In a related move, Uber says it "will also launch daily dedicated, targeted marketing campaigns -- both in-app and via email -- to promote delivery from local restaurants, especially those that are new to the app."

Finally, Uber promised "to support Uber delivery people and drivers both financially in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure, and while they're on the road by delivering sanitization products to keep themselves and their vehicles clean." In an interview with CNBC, Uber CFO Nelson Chai said that it will "compensate drivers for 14 days if they are quarantined or affected by the Coronavirus."  

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