Uber Eats will delist some delivery-only restaurants from its app in order to help eliminate low-quality listings. This was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company confirmed to the Verge that they are introducing new standards for virtual restaurant listings. This should reduce duplicate menus.
Ghost kitchens are virtual restaurants that don’t actually have a physical location. They are often run from existing restaurants, warehouses and sometimes even parking lot. Their sole purpose is to sell food via delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. Some of these locations are run by individuals, but others are owned by larger companies who franchise their brand to multiple operators like MrBeast Burger. Uber offers its own virtual restaurant program that allows entrepreneurs to start their own ghost restaurants.
These ghost kitchens can often be run by the same company, sometimes from the same location. This can lead to redundant listings. One restaurant might have a different brand but the exact same menu. Uber Eats is stomping on redundant listings like these. It now requires virtual restaurants to have menu items that are “at least 60% different” than any other virtual locations.
The Journal reports Uber is closing around 5,000 virtual kitchens
Uber will also require ghost kitchen , its parent restaurant, to maintain a rating of 4.3 stars or higher on the app. They must also have fewer cancellations than 5 percent and a lower rate for inaccurate orders. Uber states that it reserves the right to remove VRs from Uber Platforms that aren’t in compliance.
The Journal has reported that Uber Eats is taking down around 5,000 virtual kitchens. This is in violation of the policy. It also removed 14 virtual brands that sell the same menu from a New York City deli. This is just a fraction of the ghost kitchens that Uber Eats has. Uber Eats currently has around 40,000 virtual listings, which is a significant increase on the 10,000 listed in 2021. They also account for about 8 percent of all restaurants in the US and Canada according to the journal.
John Mullenholz, Uber’s virtual-restaurant head, stated in an email to “Communicating and beginning to enforce these new quality standards Virtual Restaurants on Uber Eats” We made sure to establish standards that allowed our partners to continue to be creative, because we know that delivery-only models are an exciting way for operators invest in their businesses’ growth.