Uber Eats fake takeaway highlights the need for process in onboarding

by | 3 Jul, 2019 | Process

Food delivery apps and services such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats have become hugely popular, both here in the UK and in countries all around the world. People choose and pay for their food via the apps, which act as an intermediary between the user and the restaurant.

Their couriers then collect the order and deliver it to the customer’s house. Such apps have quickly become an integral part of the food industry – Deliveroo has an estimated six million UK customers, while Uber Eats has a slightly larger market share and has plans to employ 900 people in the EMEA region in 2019, up from 300 at the end of 2018.

But a recent BBC report into Uber Eats and how restaurants sign up to the service has demonstrated that better processes are needed if consumer faith in such apps is not to be jeopardised, giving a boost to the competition and potentially risking the credibility of the whole ‘virtual restaurant’ industry.

Uber Eats and the Best Burger Corporation

The BBC investigative team wanted to see how easy it was for restaurants to trade on Uber Eats, and so set up a takeaway name – Best Burger Corporation – created a menu and applied to join.

Uber Eats asked if they had a council hygiene rating and the team replied they ‘would have one soon’. Just a few days later they were sent all the equipment they needed to start trading.

Not a single identity check took place for the Best Burger Corporation to be up and trading and soon the first order was in. Uber Eats then picked up the order – cooked intentionally poorly and deliberately breaching scores of health and safety regulations – and then actually delivered it to the customer.

This is a clear failure of process at the sign-up stage and shows that companies as big and popular as Uber Eats need to keep a much clearer eye on how restaurants sign-up to its platform.

The role of process in onboarding

Uber Eats responded to the BBC report in a statement as follows:

“We are deeply concerned by this breach of our food safety policy and have taken immediate steps t update our sign-up requirements. It is unacceptable that a restaurant that did not meet our requirements was able to use the platform. We are working hard to ensure that this does not happen again.” 

But using a process management tool such as Process Bliss could have saved a lot of problems in the first place. Signing-up a customer, supplier or partner should be a straightforward process – one that takes place the same way each time. 

For this to happen, the employees involved must know what those processes are – so they must be documented and easily available and accessible – and Uber must ensure they  follow those processes to the letter. When it’s something as important as food safety or hygiene for a company such as Uber Eats, then there should also be evidence that the process was followed.

The importance of the customer experience

Uber Eats and other restaurant app services have grown so popular because they are so convenient, opening up restaurant food to the home market in a way that was thought impossible just a few years ago. Global Web Index data has shown that the biggest discourager of using a food delivery app again is poor quality food, while a significant motivator for using a food delivery app is a transparent hygiene and customer ratings system. 

But their popularity relies on a first-class customer experience – just imagine how serious such an occurrence would be if it had been an actual customer that ordered and subsequently ate an unsafe meal, and not a media investigation? Not only could Uber Eats’ reputation and brand be massively affected, but it could potentially face a lawsuit too. 

Process is just as important for SMEs too. Recent Process Bliss research with SME employees revealed that 43% of employees say their company has lost customers because of failed processes, so the importance of process to customer experience cannot be overlooked.

If you are a small business that wants to improve your customer onboarding, then click on the button below to start using our free template. 

Process Bliss allows you to set up templates for the recurring processes in your business, such as customer onboarding, you then ‘run’ the process for each new client you take onboard. Steps within the process can be assigned to different people and given a due date. 

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