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    If you’re looking for Uber’s new valet feature, you can find it live in the NYC market. Also this week, DoorDash announced they are laying off 1,250 employees now that the surge of the pandemic has settled. Keep reading for all this and more in this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar.

    DoorDash cuts 1,250 jobs after pandemic hiring surge (NPR)

    Summary: DoorDash is eliminating about 1,250 corporate jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, saying it hired too many people when delivery demand surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    CEO Tony Xu said in a message to employees Wednesday that DoorDash was undersized before the pandemic and sped up hiring to catch up with its growth.

    “Most of our investments are paying off, and while we’ve always been disciplined in how we have managed our business and operational metrics, we were not as rigorous as we should have been in managing our team growth,” Xu wrote. “That’s on me. As a result, operating expenses grew quickly.”

    The company is seeking to lower its operating costs, Xu said, but it was unable to bring spending in line without job cuts….

    My Take: Not exactly surprising now that the pandemic is easing back into the “normal” levels from the “before” times. I think everyone knew the hiring surge would be reversed once things went back to how they were previously. It would be unsustainable to keep that many people employed without the added income from everyone ordering online constantly. 

    While ordering food online is still super convenient and used by many, it no longer feels like a necessity like it did when there were lockdowns and closures all over the place. Plus, with the cost of getting delivery, if people are already driving home from work, it’s much more affordable to stop by and pick up your own dinner versus getting them delivered at a cost. 

    If you’re curious about the whole story, feel free to read the full DoorDash post from Tony Xu

    Uber to offer free reindeer sleigh rides in Finland — world’s first on-demand excursion of its kind (Fox Business)

    Summary: Uber is officially launching the world’s first-ever on-demand sleigh rides in Lapland, Finland.

    From Dec. 12 to 18, riders in the area can call an Uber Sleigh — a winter-festive ride complete with a blanket and pulled, of course, by reindeer.

    Travelers will be able to book a sleigh ride directly in the Uber app.

    The ride will take passengers on a two-hour journey through Lapland’s snow-covered forests….

    My Take: How cool! As a rider, I think it would be so wonderfully magical to take an actual sleigh ride with real reindeer. If any of you readers know of any place near Minneapolis, MN that offers this, please let me know because I will go there immediately. 

    Now, to swing it around to the Uber side of things. That makes it pretty neat too. Instead of showing up and waiting in a long line hoping for the best, you can book your sleigh ride through the Uber app in Lapland, Finland. 

    Check it out through Uber’s Twitter feed

    Uber’s new Valet option now live in NYC (Fox)

    Summary: Uber’s newest mobility offering is now live in New York City: a car rental Valet feature.

    Last year, Uber Rent launched to help reserve a car directly in the Uber app when heading of town, running an errand or going on a trip. But now, when you choose the Valet option, you can have a rental car delivered straight to your door and picked up upon your return.

    How it works:

    • In the Uber app, tap ‘easy car rentals’ on the home page and enter your pickup and return addresses, as well as your reservation date and time.
    • Scroll through the available options under the Valet Delivery tab and confirm your chosen vehicle features.
    • Confirm the price and tap reserve.
    • At least two hours prior to the rental car delivery, complete an in-app profile to upload a driver’s license and add payment details.
    • When your rental car is on the way, you’ll receive a notification in the app and you’ll be able to track your rental car just as you track Uber rides.

    My Take: Well, this is a very New York City thing have – a car delivered to you, that you use for a set period of time, and then someone comes and picks it back up when you’re done. It’s great for those in New York City who don’t have a car and need it for something (maybe a trip to Costco or a weekend vacation?)

    I would assume it’s definitely a viable service in very big, congested cities like NYC. Would something like Uber Valet work in your city? Why or why not?

    Also in the news…

    Marylanders eligible for $20,000 in Lyft credit for the holidays (CBS News)

    Thoughts: I mean, that’s pretty great news if you’re in Baltimore. So, instead of drinking and driving this holiday season, if you’re in Baltimore, sign up for your credits available before each weekend throughout December. 

    DoorDash’s expansion beyond the US will come with challenges (Restaurant Dive

    Thoughts: It’s kind of surprised me that DoorDash hasn’t made a beeline for a global market already. Curious to see how this expansion goes – check back to RSG for updates!

    Uber’s new Driver and Courier Learning Center playlist (YouTube)

    Thoughts: There are many features within the Uber app that drivers may not know about. Check out this video all about how an Uber trip works here.

    How do you feel about Maryland offering discounted Lyft rides to passengers, so they stay safe/don’t drink and drive during the holidays?

    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Lemar

    Paula Lemar

    Paula has been writing for the Rideshare Guy since the fall of 2018. The main focus of her articles has been breaking news, reviewing new apps, driver experiences and more. Prior to her time with the Rideshare Guy, Paula worked as a writer and editor for various publications including local newspapers, sporting goods catalogs, online merchandise and more. She currently has a full-time job editing for a top beauty company and enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in weekly trivia.