News | March 28, 2023

Uber Eats Launches U.S. Certified Virtual Restaurant Program

Starting this month, US restaurants partnering with Uber Eats can easily add brand licensed virtual restaurant concepts for plug-and-play operations.

San Francisco, CA /PRNewswire/ - Today Uber Eats (NYSE: UBER) announced a new Certified Virtual Restaurant Program. This initiative, launched in partnership with leading brand builders Virtual Dining Concepts, Nextbite and Acelerate, aims to make virtual restaurant operations more streamlined and effective for merchants, and to create a more consistent, reliable virtual restaurants experience for consumers who use Uber Eats.

The program is part of an ongoing effort at Uber to refocus its virtual restaurant operations—which has accelerated massively in the wake of the pandemic to over 40,000 virtual storefronts—with an emphasis on quality for the benefit of consumers and merchants across the country.

The Certified Virtual Restaurant Program allows merchants to tap into a pipeline of virtual restaurant concepts curated by Uber and vetted to meet high-bar standards in menu quality, operations, and branding.

"With the boom in virtual restaurants over the past several years, we've noticed a wide range of approaches to creating virtual restaurant brands," says John Mullenholz, Uber's head of Virtual Restaurants and Dark Kitchens for the US & Canada. "We're excited about launching this program to connect the best virtual brand builders in the industry with small businesses across the country–and to bring the very best virtual brands to consumers' doorsteps."

By participating in the program, independent restaurants will have access to virtual concept creators' account management and customer success teams, and can leverage their expertise in operating quality virtual restaurants successfully on Uber Eats—whether operated out of an existing brick-and-mortar restaurant or a delivery-only kitchen. This program, developed in partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts, Nextbite and Acelerate includes successful brands including MrBeast Burger (VDC), Huevorito (Nextbite) and Scratch Chicken (Acelerate), with more to come.

"We are proud to partner with Uber Eats' Certified Virtual Restaurant program," said Stephanie Sollers, CEO of Virtual Dining Concepts. "This initiative benefits every member of the VDC ecosystem, including our kitchen partners, the creators, celebrities and media groups with whom we collaborate with to develop our brands, and consumers, many of whom are loyal fans of the talent behind our brands. For all parties, this program adds a layer of verification and transparency for customers, certifying that their food is coming from high quality kitchen operators, giving the customer an added level of comfort when ordering from Uber Eats."

"Helping restaurants succeed is at the heart of our business and we're looking forward to partnering with Uber Eats to do just that," says Lindsay Barlow, Operations at Acelerate. "We're excited for customers to get their hands on Scratch Chicken! Inspired by nostalgic snack food, these craveable tenders, seasoning dusts, signature drizzles and dipping sauces were specifically designed and tested for delivery."

Certified Virtual Restaurant partners who add one of these established brands to their business operations for delivery will benefit from their focus on quality across menu, operations, and branding. Each Certified Virtual Restaurant's menu items are designed especially for delivery, allowing merchants to leverage their existing supply chain, kitchen equipment and inventory to produce scalable, replicable and consistent orders. With professionally established brands with strong online presences, participating restaurants can plug into marketing that translates across consumer-facing channels in- and out-of the Uber Eats app.

About Uber Eats
Uber Eats is an on-demand app and website that helps bring millions of people around the world the things they want, at the tap of a button. We partner with over 890,000 restaurants and merchants in more than 11,000 cities across six continents. From specialty local favorites to national brand names, groceries to household essentials and more, Uber Eats has what you want when you want it.

Source: Uber

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