Uber Eats updates courier experience in grocery delivery gig

On Friday, March 3, 2023, Uber Eats is announcing at Curbivore an updated experience for their couriers in the Shop and Pay portion of the app (think grocery shopping/delivery). This update is designed to fix three issues that their delivery drivers bring up time and time again: the ability to use digital payment methods to check out, the information received in upfront offers in the app, and the processes of handling replacements or out-of-stock items. 

If you’re at Curbivore 2023, make sure to check out the panel with Uber Eats’ David Meers called ‘Eats: More Then Meets the Eye.’

Quick Summary: 

  • Uber Eats couriers can pay digitally now instead of using a physical card at the register.
  • After feedback from couriers, the app will show a list of appropriate substitutions, eliminating a lot of guesswork.
  • Upfront offers are going to start showing the number of unique items as well as if it’s going to have any large, heavy, or fragile pieces so couriers can make an informed decision.

Uber Eats’ Shop and Pay Updates

For those who don’t know, “Shop and Pay” was introduced to the Uber Eats driver app officially in 2022. It was a softer launch, so not all know about it. Those that do, have had the chief complaints mentioned above, and Uber is listening and doing something about it today.


Their main competitor, of course, is Instacart which has maintained a grocery presence since their inception in 2012. In order to be competitive, Uber Eats is pivoting to help enhance the courier experience.

Uber Eats’ announcement addresses out-of-stock items, stating, “Today, when shoppers indicate they can’t find the originally requested item in-store, their app will show them a list of suggested substitutions that are based on similar brands and items so there’s no need for guesswork. They can then send that suggestion to their customer directly in the app for review so they can be confident that they are getting what the customer wants—and move right along.” 

Uber Eats has also moved toward making payments digital instead of needing a physical card to make the payments, allowing drivers who opted in to accept these kinds of orders more readily instead of having to wait for a physical card to arrive in the mail, or use their own funds to pay and be reimbursed. 

The digital payments are made through Apple or Google Pay and are ready to use in a matter of minutes. Plus, it’s already on the device the couriers are using to complete the order in the first place. 

And, finally, Uber Eats revamped the upfront information given to couriers so they can more easily make informed decisions about accepting the order request or passing it up. Included in this is allowing the shoppers to see how many unique items are in the offer instead of just the total number of items. 

The app is also working on showing the shopper if the order contains large, heavy, or fragile items ahead of time. 

Driver Takeaways

If grocery delivery through Uber Eats is in your market, you’re going to be seeing helpful upgrades that will make it easier to decide to accept the requests as well as easier to shop the actual order. 

Digital payments are a huge step in the right direction. With the nature of rideshare driving and delivery, it would be easy to forget an extra card that you don’t keep on you at all times, but no matter what, you have your phone on you while you’re doing the order, guaranteeing you’ll have the payment method on hand. 

Also, anything to make communication with customers easier, and allowing for easier substitutions is a plus for both parties. No one wants to waste their time standing around trying to decide a suitable substitution, and customers don’t want you to guess the wrong thing, potentially ruining their dinner plans. 

Overall, these updates are a step in the right direction for Uber Eats and it’s nice to know the company is listening to its couriers and making these moves to improve their experience. 

If you’re in the L.A. area, check out the delivery driver meetup with Pedro DoorDash Santiago, The Rideshare Professor and our very own Sergio Avedian from 1-2 PM on March 3. The event will also have some neat delivery vehicles for you to check out and amazing free food/drinks. 

-Paula @ RSG