Once again, Uber is shaking things up in the services arena. First by providing alternative to taxis, and now by offering the delivery of food from near-by restaurants, which could have an impact on the hospitality sector.
Although this could provide an easy alternative for guests to have food delivered to their rooms, it goes without saying that this could eat into the revenue that comes from traditional room service.
The rise of this type of service could also cause hotel lobbies to be filled with bike messengers who are gaining access to various parts of the property. This could create a challenge, as several larger hotel brands are following the lead of many boutique hotels, where a key card is required for gaining elevator access.
Conversely, if hoteliers embrace this new delivery shift, they can expand their restaurant options for guests. By integrating guest-facing apps with Uber’s API, it would be possible to enhance the guest experience by allowing them to choose from virtually any restaurant in the surrounding area. This approach could help hoteliers to adopt this new concept, and ultimately the guest wins in the end.
Companies like Uber and Airbnb continue to challenge the hospitality sector. While Airbnb is a more considerable threat, these types of new Uber services provide attractive options for guests. And, unlike the dot-com era delivery services like Kozmo and UrbanFetch, which both fell by the wayside when the market crashed in 1999-2000, Uber has the resources to make this service truly successful.
Time to get prepared for a new change in the ever-shifting hospitality landscape.