Sweet Mercy, UberEats Surge Pricing Is Coming
“The bourgeois prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire. Also egg rolls at 1.6x the cost.” — Hermann Hesse
Hungry, but too lazy/fat/drunk to venture out for a meal? You and millions of other Americans, buster. Fortuitously, the newfangled tech economy has an app for that. Or, rather, dozens of apps, most notably GrubHub and Seamless, but also Munchery, Savory, Caviar, Ando, TaskRabbit, Postmates, Maple, GoodMeal, and Yelp’s Eat 24. Uber entered the fray with its own food delivery service eight months ago. Now, UberEats has announced that its customers will soon be subject to surge pricing. File this one under “First World Problems.”
Like Uber, the one for when you’re too lazy/fat/drunk to drive, UberEats says the price multiplier is a simple game of supply and demand. When food couriers are scarce in an area filled with popular restaurants, the price goes up. UberEats will underline which restaurants are affected, displaying the upcharge amount above in-app menus and also as a separate line item at checkout.
“The extra money from these orders goes toward financial incentives for delivery partners as well as our other operational costs,” Ben Drier, UberEat’s product manager, explained via blogpost on Thursday. “These partner incentives look at past patterns and aim to predict where and when there will be high demand and to encourage more people to get on the road in these locations.”
So, basically, you’re subsidizing UberEats driver recruiting and also helping Drier squeezing an extra nickel per cheeseburger. Were we less lazy/drunk/fat, or maybe just had enough time to cook, like human have done for millennia, we’d care more about the cost of convenience. But, you know. Fuck it.
The UberEats surge pricing rollout begins in Washington D.C., Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix, before likely spreading across America.