Report: UberRUSH will stop handling restaurant deliveries

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Uber plans to close its UberRUSH courier service to restaurant deliveries, according to a report in Quartz. Instead, restaurants will be encouraged to use UberEATS, the company’s food delivery service.

The move is noteworthy because restaurants were one of UberRUSH’s key clientele when it launched in October 2015 as a competitor to Postmates, Delivery.com and other on-demand delivery services.

In fact, Quartz’s sources — two Uber employees — said restaurant deliveries made up most of UberRUSH’s orders. Clients have been told that it will stop handling restaurant orders after May 8, but continue to serve retail businesses like grocery stores and florists.

One of Uber’s reasons for the switch is that UberEATS and UberRUSH rely on the same pool of drivers as the company’s ridesharing services. When deliveries were at a peak, such as during dinnertime, the shortage of drivers sometimes triggered surge pricing on UberX. Streamlining what UberEATS and UberRUSH handles will make it easier for Uber to increase the number of drivers who do deliveries without cannibalizing its passenger service (drivers can do both, but must sign up separately).

TechCrunch has contacted Uber for comment.

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