Uber (UBER) - Get Report is betting its Uber Eats delivery service will boost its sagging bottom line as the travel restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus ravage its core ride-hailing business.
The company's Uber Eats unit is ramping up efforts to capitalize on the shift to delivery service as governments around the world shut down restaurant dining, with a new deal with French supermarket giant Carrefour to make home deliveries from stores around Paris.
Uber Eats has also teamed up with Galp, an energy company, to make deliveries from convenience stores in Spain and is also ramping up deliveries from pet stores to pharmacies in Brazil, the Financial Times reported.
The flurry of deals comes just a few weeks after Uber formed an internal team to lead the push into grocery delivery amid the coronavirus, with new Uber Eats chief Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty leading the initiative, according to the Financial Times. The group is also charged with making the changes necessary to Uber's app to allow for grocery delivery.
Uber in mid-March estimated it has seen a 60% to 70% drop in its ride-sharing business in markets hardest hit by Covid-19.
Uber Eats is hustling to build up its restaurant delivery service in the United States as well, looking to shift now idled ride-hailing drivers into a business segment where demand at the moment appears to be rising.
Uber last week sent instructions to drivers in 15 cities across the U.S. explaining how to toggle between driver and delivery views in their Uber app.