Uber Eats has backed down in the face of consumer and political pressure, by cutting the costs it imposes on restaurants to deliver food.

The company has been feeling the heat over its usual 30-35 per cent commission on all orders - a big chunk of the revenue that struggling hospitality businesses will receive as they strive to get back on their feet in the new alert level-3 world.

With the hospitality industry taking a hammering courtesy of Covid-19, the Restaurant Association has said the sector is in crisis.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern previously called on Kiwis to shop and dine local as the nation goes into alert level 3 and Uber Eats said on Sunday it was doing its bit to support Kiwi restaurants.


The company delivers for more than 22,000 restaurants and eateries in New Zealand and Australia.

"In times of hardship New Zealanders rally together," the company's website stated.

"We witnessed that resilience during the White Island volcano tragedy and we will see it again during our united response to the economic, physical and emotional strain caused by the coronavirus."

Uber Eats reopens for business at 10am today, as New Zealand begins its first day at alert level 3.

Subscribe to Premium

To support local businesses, Uber Eats announced it was:

• Giving independent restaurants in New Zealand and Australia up to $5 million to spend on in-app promotions for their customers

• Axing service fees for restaurants on pickup orders until June 30

• Waiving sign-up fees for new restaurants and caterers until May 4


• Offering customers the chance to add a tip to their order - with the restaurant receiving 100 per cent of the money

• Giving restaurants the option to receive their payments daily

The company also said it was helping essential workers.

"To show our support for those on the ground working to keep the community safe, we're also pledging 25,000 delivered meals to hospital workers and frontline services," the company's website stated, indicating this was across New Zealand and Australia.

"We will work with local and state governments to determine the best way to support this."

It also reassured customers about health and safety.

"Uber Eats has also started a campaign to drive awareness of 'contactless' delivery, reminding Uber Eats users that they can request deliveries be left on their doorsteps."

The Kiwi companies taking on Uber Eats
Comment: Is it possible to build a NZ food delivery business to beat Uber Eats?
Covid 19 coronavirus: Uber Eats charges another peril for restaurants
Uber Eats set to launch into seven new cities this year

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website