As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forces more and more people to stay at home and practice social distancing, Uber Eats may have seemed like an obvious solution to be able to get food from restaurants. However, as restaurants are forced to close their doors altogether in some regions, the delivery service is looking into ways it can maintain its business, and it's doing so by transitioning to delivering groceries. According to the Financial Times, Uber Eats has entered partnerships with a few companies in different countries to trial this new delivery service.
In France, the company has partnered with supermarket chain Carrefour, to trial delivery of fresh food items from 15 of its stores in the Paris region. If the experiment goes well, the partnership will expand nationwide. Carrefour also works with Glovo, a Spanish delivery service, in a similar fashion. In Spain, Uber Eats is instead working with Galp, a Portugal-based energy company, to deliver items from the convenience stores in its network of gas stations.
In Brazil, the company is working with a variety of pet and convenience stores to deliver items in the São Paulo area. Uber Eats users in Sri Lanka have also been notified that the service is now delivering essential supplies through a partnership with Cargills Food City and other local businesses.
As mentioned in the report, this isn't Uber Eats' first venture into delivering groceries, as it initially tested the concept in Australia last year. However, the current conditions in many countries around the world have pushed the company to accelerate the expansion of this delivery service.