Stories written for Boston's forward thinking restaurateurs.

UberEATS arrives in Boston This Spring - How to Capitalize & Get Access to Uber's Drivers for Your Restaurant Without Paying Commissions

By Successtaurant Blog | February 22, 2017

What's Happening:

UberEATS is finally making their way to Boston this spring! Many restaurants around the area have reported receiving sales emails and calls from UberEATS' sales team. While there's no set date for the launch, it's likely that UberEATS will begin delivering from restaurants in the Boston area within the next 4-6 weeks, with UberRUSH becoming available to restaurants through partners like ChowNow shortly afterward. 

Why it's Important:

Since entering the Boston market a little over 5 years ago, Uber has created a major labor shortfall for restaurant Delivery Drivers. The "gig economy" has allowed those who were once happy as delivery drivers to earn more income in less time driving for companies like Uber than they could ever have earned delivering food orders, with increased safety, and fewer lingering odors in their vehicles for the rest of eternity. It's become increasingly difficult for restaurants seeking to offer delivery to find good help. Until now. Uber has come full circle, with plans to launch their Restaurant Delivery Service in Boston this spring.

So, what's the difference between UberEATS and UberRUSH and how can you put them to use in your restaurant right away? Read on to find out! We'll refer to UberEATS simply as "EATS" and UberRUSH simply as "RUSH" for simplicity.

How UberEATS Works:

EATS, similar to DoorDash, GrubHub, Caviar, Postmates, etc, charges a one time setup fee of $500 plus a hefty commission to their restaurant partners, around 35% of each order, along with a delivery fee that's charged to the diner. EATS operates its own standalone mobile app, and also appears within Uber's rider app while on a trip. They advertise participating restaurants, along with estimated delivery times. Customers see beautiful photos of the food items before ordering, and are able to track their delivery from start to finish.

How UberRUSH differs:

RUSH, which will be accessible about a month after EATS to Boston area restaurants through Uber's online ordering partner, ChowNow, gives independent restaurants access to the same delivery network as EATS without paying the 35% commission for each order. The restaurant pays a small setup fee plus a flat monthly fee ($149 or less) to ChowNow to access their direct ordering platform, which is custom built for the restaurant, and the diner pays a flat delivery fee directly to Uber. If you're already a customer of ChowNow's, you know that they've built one of the best online ordering systems that operates with zero commissions for all orders generated by the restaurant's website, facebook page, or mobile apps. The restaurant is responsible for promoting its own delivery business, and they offer some recommendations for this here

So, Which is Better? EATS or RUSH?

The EATS fee of 35% may sound high, but when you factor in all of the costs associated with offering delivery, it doesn't seem that bad. There's no advertising or labor cost associated with receiving or delivering these orders, but at 35%, there's no profit left either. You'll get some great exposure for your restaurant, and that may be worth it in the short-term, but it's not sustainable long term. Successtaurant recommends that you use both UberEATS and ChowNow in tandem. UberEATS (and similar marketplaces) can be used to capture new customers, and ChowNow's system should be in place to make it easier for them to order directly from you the next time around. Use an aggressive promotion to incentivize a marketplace customer to download your mobile app and order their next order that way. $2-3 off their first mobile app order should do the trick! 

Take This Step Next:

If you're not a customer of ChowNow, now's the time to get more info from them. Visit and click on "get started" to get up and running so you'll be prepared when RUSH  becomes available. If you're looking to get up and running with UberEATS, rumor has it they're offering 30 days of service at no charge to evaluate, and both the setup fee and commission rates are negotiable. Find out more here. 

Full Disclosure: Successtaurant receives zero payment, monetary or other, from the companies featured in this blog post.