Uber Eats announced Monday several measures to assist independent restaurants in the midst of financial fallout from COVID-19, including waiving delivery fees and donating free meals. 

The third-party delivery service said that it would temporarily stop delivery fees for more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. The company is also launching marketing campaigns to promote delivery at said restaurants. Like other providers, Uber Eats has implemented contactless delivery to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

We know the coming weeks will be challenging ones for many small business owners, and we want to help restaurants focus on food, not finances,” said Janelle Sallenave, head of Uber Eats for the U.S. and Canada, in a statement. “That’s why we’re working to drive increased demand to more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada through free delivery and marketing efforts.”

To ensure consistent cash flow for restaurants, Uber Eats is creating a daily payout option on all orders, as opposed to the weekly billing cycle. In addition, Uber Eats is pledging 300,000 free meals to first responders and healthcare works in the U.S. and Canada. 

Uber previously announced that it would provide financial assistance up to 14 days for drivers/deliverers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and must self-quarantine. The assistance is based on average daily earnings over the past six months. If someone has driven for fewer than six months, the pay rate is based off earnings between the first trip and March 6. 

Rival Grubhub announced last week that it would suspend commission payments up to $100 million in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. It also created a fund that will funnel proceeds from its Donate Change program to organizations that are supporting restaurants and drivers impacted by COVID-19. 

Postmates said last week that it would waive commission fees for new businesses in San Francisco that participate in a pilot program. 

More than a dozen states and cities have temporarily closed dining areas at restaurants and restricted service to takeout/delivery. 

Ordering, Story, Technology