Are “Ghost Kitchens” The Solution For Restaurant Product Managers?

Ghost kitchens might be the best way to meet growing customer restaurant demands
Ghost kitchens might be the best way to meet growing customer restaurant demands
Image Credit: jclor

So here’s an interesting challenge for you: what would you do if your business started to take off in a direction that you had not originally planned on? Would you stop what you had been doing and focus on the new direction? Or would you try to serve all of your customers no matter how they came to your business? Restaurant product managers are facing this very problem right now. They have traditionally operated restaurants where people would come to eat their food. However, in part to the pandemic, home delivery of their food changed their product development definition and has taken off and become a big part of the business. What’s a product manager to do now?

A New Way Of Doing Business

As the U.S. hospitality industry started to rebound from the pandemic closures, their product managers found themselves moving into the food-hall business. This meant marrying the traditional dine-in model with delivery-only “ghost kitchens” in hopes of solving revenue problems that have long plagued both retail and food spaces. Some of the product managers who are doing this have plans for 1,000 ghost kitchens by the end of the year. This would look good on anyone’s product manager resume. The move to inject new life into spaces such as food courts comes as ghost kitchens gained momentum when restaurants closed and more people turned to food-delivery services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With plans to lease space in Brookfield and Simon malls across the U.S. product managers are betting that housing dine-in and as many as 10 delivery-only kitchens in a single location – such as a mall, hotel or restaurant – will allow them to maximize profits and efficiency. The goal is to have these restaurants and food halls are operating almost at a 24-hour perspective. You may walk into a restaurant in Chicago or New York or Austin…but in the back, they will have seven to 10 of their other brands being cooked there for delivery.

For one product manager, their first food hall opened in New York City at Manhattan West, as people returned to work. The 40,000-square-foot space includes some of the company’s more than 40 brands, among them Umami Burger and Krispy Rice, a delivery-only sushi-restaurant concept. For landlords, having a partner with hospitality expertise and ownership of multiple brands helps fuel new experiences in their premises. It also allows them to offer their tenants room to enhance their revenues. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a food hall. It is possible that some could include rooftop entertainment options.

Say Hello To The Ghost Kitchens

It turns out that food halls are expensive to build and operate, and require close monitoring. Brands that might struggle to draw a lot of foot traffic and sales might need to be replaced in as little as weeks. Operators need to manage the flow of customers well, so that the existing dine-in experience remains unaffected while other parts of the kitchen could be used for online orders and pickup. Product managers realize that most full-service restaurants weren’t designed to do a lot of takeout, so their physical infrastructure generally is not set up to do so. As more kitchens reopened for dine-in service, product managers didn’t expect an easing of pandemic restrictions to take the luster off their delivery businesses. Sales in markets that have reopened might have dipped for a week or two, but then they seem to go right back to full steam ahead.

Customers are continuing to use this, because it’s an easy alternative to get the best restaurant food that they’re looking for brought conveniently to them. Ghost kitchens popped up all over the U.S. as food delivery surges and dining at restaurants plummeted amid the pandemic. These businesses, which can host food preparation for multiple restaurants at a single location, are attracting interest from product managers as a way to grow their business. Investors have also entered the food-delivery business. Entities spent more than US$130 million on property acquisitions for CloudKitchens, a startup that rents out space to ghost kitchens. Every type of restaurant is looking for alternatives to their brick-and-mortar right now.

What All Of This Means For You

The pandemic changed a lot of things in the world in which we live. For a year everyone stayed home and didn’t go out. One of the types of businesses that was hardest hit by the pandemic was the restaurant business. However, in order to survive, they had to adjust. What these product managers did was to update their product manager job description and start to create meals and deliver them to people’s homes. Now that the pandemic has passed, what are these product managers to do? Should they go back to the old way of running a restaurant or should they embrace the new world order?

Since the demand for home delivery of food was so great, many product managers quickly ran out of space in their restaurant to create enough food to service all of their customers. In order to solve this problem, they started to create so-called delivery-only “ghost kitchens”. Now that the pandemic is over, product managers are still seeing a need for this extra kitchen space. The goal is to set them up so that they can be run 24×7. Each one of these ghost kitchens is different and they may all serve different customers. If a ghost kitchen has been added to an existing kitchen, then product managers have to balance the needs of the dine-in customers with the needs of the delivery side of the business. Even after the pandemic, customers are showing that they still want to be able to enjoy restaurant food at home.

The world has changed and restaurant product managers have had to change with it. The pandemic provided many of them with an opportunity to discover a whole new revenue stream – home delivery. Now that the pandemic has eased, product managers have to deal with both dine in customers and their existing home delivery customers. Balancing the two sets of customers is a challenge that product managers need to learn how to do. If they can master this art, then they can enjoy having their business grow faster than they ever thought that it could.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that restaurants should stop dine in customers and just do home delivery?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When was the last time that you thought about the tires that are on your car? I’m willing to bet that it probably hasn’t been since you had a problem with them. Either the “low pressure” bulb on your dashboard lit up or you had a flat tire. However, I think that we can all agree that no matter how plain or fancy your car is, the tires are a critical part of it. What this means for you is that it would be nice if you could stay on top of what your tire’s current status was. Perhaps you could even discover a situation where you were going to have a flat tire before it happened.

The post Are “Ghost Kitchens” The Solution For Restaurant Product Managers? appeared first on The Accidental Product Manager.

Fast Food Product Managers Make It Through A Pandemic

The pandemic was a bad thing, but fast food restaurants are coming back
The pandemic was a bad thing, but fast food restaurants are coming back
Image Credit: jpellgen (@1179_jp)

I think that we can all agree that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a very, very bad thing. Just about every business was shut for a period of time and every product manager had their carefully created product development definition disrupted by the events that were caused by the pandemic. However, things are slowly starting to get better even as the pandemic is still with us. Product managers who work in the fast food business are among the ones who seem to be getting back on their feet the fastest.

How Fast Food Product Managers Are Recovering From Covid-19

The good news for fast food product managers is that it appears as though even a global pandemic can’t keep U.S. fast-food sales down for long. After mandatory closures and social-distancing orders ground the restaurant industry to a halt, sales at quick-service chains have begun to improve noticeably. Consumers do seem to like their fast food!

Examples of how the pandemic have affected the fast food chains include Chipotle Mexican Grill. They saw their share price reach a record high. Just last month comparable restaurant sales fell 35% from a year ago. However, that the decline has improved to the “high teens”. Shake Shack reported a comparable weekly sales drop of 73%, which had improved to a 45% drop. Wendy’s which began serving breakfast at its stores, said U.S. same-store sales fell 2.1%, after dropping nearly 26%. Share prices for the category have rebounded along with sales. All in all, this can start to look good on somebody’s product manager resume.

No matter how hard product managers work, customers who don’t have jobs won’t be able to shop at a fast food store. It is true that U.S. payrolls dropped by 20.5 million workers as the pandemic raged, some money still did reach those consumers’ pockets. Enhanced federal unemployment benefits, coupled with stimulus checks for many Americans, began to reach mailboxes. That fresh income isn’t likely to induce bigger-ticket consumer spending, but an extra value meal should be in reach for most consumers. Companies across the industry have reported much higher average spending per customer lately as large orders for families have increased in frequency.

Where Do Product Managers Go From Here?

The pandemic has caused the world to change. For fast food product managers, serving customers is a challenge with their dining rooms closed. Fast-food concepts can adjust far more easily than sit-down restaurants can. Having an existing drive-through infrastructure certainly helps too: McDonald’s said that about 90% of recent U.S. sales have been via the drive-through. In normal times, it accounts for about 66% of sales.

However, some restaurants, like Chipotle and Wingstop, have been able to boost sales even without a major drive-through presence. Investments in online ordering capabilities from 2019 and before have paid off for these firms. In the case of Wingstop, digital sales made up roughly two-thirds of total revenue in the first quarter. That is up from 40% in the final three months of last year. At Chipotle online sales tended to recur since the customer had already saved order and payment information in a mobile app. The result is that those sales more than doubled as on-site order rates plunged.

Product managers realize that delivery and drive-through can’t fully replace the lost sales from closed dining rooms, but those closures mean product managers can reduce major expenses such as utilities, labor to clean the dining room, and trash-removal services. As an example of this, Wendy’s has reduced the average daily sales break-even point for breakfast by 35%. Product managers do have to be careful: supplemental unemployment insurance runs out soon, and there is no guarantee that the economy will improve or that fresh stimulus will arrive. Higher meat prices as a result of packing-plant closures could eat into profits, too, because passing on rising food costs to customers in this environment will be difficult. Chains with a heavy presence in airports, shopping malls and other large gathering sites also will take longer to recover.

What All Of This Means For You

There is no question that the world has been greatly impacted by the arrival of the Covid-19 virus. As people were asked to stay at home and businesses were forced to close, the best laid plans of product managers went up in smoke – none of this is covered in our product manager job description. Now that we are entering a period of a “new normal”, businesses are once again starting to open up. Fast food product managers are starting to see their business start to rebound and they need to find ways to keep this going.

Customer traffic at fast food restaurants has started to increase after everyone was permitted to no longer have to stay at home. A number of restaurants have seen their sales start to once again go back up. However, product managers have to be careful. If people don’t have money, then they won’t visit their restaurants. Stimulus checks have helped, but they won’t last forever. Fast food restaurants have come back quicker than sit down restaurants. Fast food restaurants with drive throughs are doing the best. Even restaurants without drive throughs are doing well if they’ve made the investment in online ordering applications. Restaurants who have had to close their dining facilities have gotten benefits from reduced expenses. However, product managers need to be careful about stimulus checks running out and meat prices going up.

The good news for product managers is that we seem to be past the worst part of the pandemic. Fast food customers seem to be returning to the restaurants in numbers that are looking good. However, product managers need to realize that we are not over this pandemic yet and they need to move carefully. The good news is that consumers seem to really like their fast food and this means that they’ll keep coming back for more.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: What can product managers do to get fast food customers to place larger orders?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Product managers know that making our customers fall in love with our stores, our staff, and our brand is a critical part of our ability to be successful. This is why over the past few years there has been a big push by product managers to find ways to pamper our customers. With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, we now have to take a step back, change our product development definition, and find ways to keep our staff safe while still trying to connect with our customers.

The post Fast Food Product Managers Make It Through A Pandemic appeared first on The Accidental Product Manager.

Starbucks Product Managers Deal With The Covid-19 Virus

Covid-19 has changed things for the coffee giant
Covid-19 has changed things for the coffee giant
Image Credit: Kara Babcock

Let’s face it, everyone has been impacted by the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even those stores that you would have thought could have made it through an upheaval like this seem to have been impacted. A good example of this is Starbucks. The Starbucks product managers, like everyone else, have had to close their stores for a while. Now that they are once again able to reopen them, they need to revisit their product development definition and find new ways to generate money for the company in a world that has completely changed.

Things Change At Starbucks

The first step that the Starbucks product managers are taking is to close some traditional cafes and open more to-go locations as the company known for spreading coffee shops across the globe bets more on convenience and speed. Starbucks plans to close, renovate or move 400 traditional cafes in the U.S. and Canada in the next 18 months. The product managers plan to open least one alternative location for every store that is closed. Going forward, the product managers are aiming to open 40 to 50 pickup-only stores in the next year-and-a-half. Starbucks owns about 10,000 stores in its Americas division, which includes the U.S. and Canada.

If you can remember that far back, Starbucks supercharged the establishment of coffee shops across the country that aimed to be a “third place,” where people could commune outside home and work. However, in recent years many consumers migrated toward takeaway orders, and the company was planning to change to some smaller store footprints over the next three to five years. The product managers at Starbucks are speeding up that work because of the coronavirus pandemic. About 80% of sales at U.S. company-owned stores are takeaway, and Starbucks expects that portion to grow as the pandemic changes commutes and routines.

Right now times are tough for Starbucks just like for everyone else. The company said it expects revenue declines of $3 billion to $3.2 billion because of the pandemic in its current third quarter. Companies including big retailers and airlines are making longer-lasting changes as the coronavirus reorients daily life in the U.S. As the economy reopens, brands are re-evaluating their stores and how customers want to interact with them. States have begun to allow more freedom of movement for residents, but many consumers continue to avoid shopping in stores and opt for delivery and pickup options. Many fast-food chains haven’t restored sit-down service, relying on sales from busy drive-throughs.

What’s Next For Starbucks

Starbucks closed dine-in service in the U.S. in March. It began to restore limited operations to most of its company-owned stores last month. The bulk of its stores are serving customers through drive-through, delivery and pickup at entryways. Dine-in service remains suspended at most of its U.S. locations. The plans are for Starbucks to restore in-store service for customers in some U.S. counties in the months ahead. For now, the company is further limiting employee hours to reflect the paired-back U.S. operations. Many workers are expected to decide this week whether to remain working with reduced hours, take a leave of absence or resign.

The product managers hope that Starbucks’s new format for some of its stores won’t result in a drop in overall employment. The Starbucks product managers believe that the pandemic has provided an opportunity for Starbucks to re-evaluate its stores—particularly in big cities, where they expect commercial rents to fall. The company is focusing on New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and other dense urban areas for its shift to pickup-only locations. If they can open new locations in these cities, then that will look good on somebody’s product manager resume.

The product managers’ thinking is that there are a lot of real estate opportunities for them to capture. Starbucks said U.S. same-store sales fell 43% in May. Declines have improved from a drop of 63% in April. The company has had six weeks of same-store sales growth in the U.S. since it restored limited service. The company hopes the U.S. will return to quarterly same-store sales growth early in its next fiscal year. It expects to add a net 300 stores in its fiscal year ending in September.

What All Of This Means For You

The Covis-19 pandemic has changed life for just about everyone. It turns out that the coffee company, Starbucks, who seemed to be almost invincible before the pandemic hit has been affected also. Starbucks had to close stores and even though most of they are now open, people are still staying away. The Starbucks product managers have to take a close look at their product manager job description and move fast to find a way to get their customers to come back and buy some coffee.

The Starbucks product managers understand that things have to change. That is why they are planning on closing some traditional cafes and opening more to-go locations. In recent years many consumers migrated toward takeaway orders, and the company was already planning to change to some smaller store footprints over the next three to five years. These plans have now been sped up. The pandemic has hit Starbucks bottom line just like it has hit everyone else’s. Starbucks does plan on opening their stores for sit down service as soon as they are permitted to do so. The pandemic may provide the product managers with an opportunity to get cheap sites in major cities. The chain plans on continuing to grow.

The world has certainly changed. Starbucks has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic just like so many other companies have been. However, the Starbucks product managers understand that the world won’t be getting back to normal any time soon and so they have already started to make changes. The changes that they will be implementing will be with the company for a long time. We’ll have to see if the new way of getting coffee is as popular as the old way used to be.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that Starbucks should just shut all of their dine in locations and make them drive thrus?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you were looking for an exciting product manager job, then being a product manager at the European aircraft company Airbus would probably be a safe bet. Airbus is always locked in battle with the U.S. firm Boeing and both companies sell hundreds of their large airplanes to airlines around the world. At the start of this century Airbus introduced their biggest bet on the future so far, the A380, and now it looks like their product managers were wrong about a number of things and that’s making everyone look bad.

The post Starbucks Product Managers Deal With The Covid-19 Virus appeared first on The Accidental Product Manager.

Product Managers Prepare For The Future Of Fast Food

Lessons are being learned that will outlast the Covid-19 pandemic
Lessons are being learned that will outlast the Covid-19 pandemic
Image Credit: Mike Mozart

Restaurant product managers are facing one of the toughest times that they have ever had to deal with. The arrival of the Covid-19 virus has changed everything for them. Most restaurants have had to shut down for a while and customers have been told to stay at home and not go out. Many restaurants are reporting that their sales have fallen by up to 48% from a year ago. However, not everyone is suffering. In fact, business is booming for some restaurants. What can product managers learn from the changes that are sweeping through the restaurant industry?

The Winners And The Losers

Let’s face it, Covid-19 has caused every restaurant to change the way that it does business. What is starting to be discovered is that the traditional sit-down restaurants have been hit the hardest. The big fast-food chains have continued to make money. However, the fast food chains have not been able to continue operating without making some significant changes. They have had to change their product development definition by reducing menu options, closing their dining rooms, and offering their customers better deals. The result of them making these changes is that as the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, their customers have been returning in droves.

Two of the biggest fast food chains, McDonalds and Burger King, have seen their sales come roaring back. McDonalds had seen its sales fall by 19%; however, they then came back and were just down by 5%. Burger King had reported that their sales were down by 32% but had returned and were now up by 2.5%. Although we are in tough times, this would look good on anyone’s product manager resume. The result of all of these changes is that the future is showing up faster than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The forecast is that online delivery sales will make up 13% of all U.S. restaurant sales by the end of the year instead of the two years that it had been originally forecasted to take to get to this point. At the same time, online advance pickup ordering has also been increasing in popularity. A key reason that parts of the restaurant industry are rebounding is because their customers currently have more money in their pockets. Customers in the U.S. have received stimulus checks from the government while at the same time enhancements to the federal unemployment benefits will continue for a while. Customer purchases have grown in size because of larger orders from families.

The Next Steps

One of the reasons that the fast food restaurant product managers have been so successful is because some of their competition, the independent restaurants, are still shuttered. This leaves customers with fewer dining options and thereby benefits the fast food locations that can stay open. At the same time fast food restaurants are able to reduce their operating costs by reducing their labor because they no longer have to support their usual dine-in service.

Where things can get interesting is when product managers take a careful look at their restaurant market and start to realize that the recovery of the fast food segment has not been even. Currently urban locations are still suffering. However, suburban locations that have drive-through options are currently seeing a large increase in demand for their services. Customers are picking dining options that allow them to stay in their cars. Fast food chains are using the current situation to make improvements. McDonalds has reported that they have been able to shave 25 seconds off of the average time that is required to complete a drive-through order.

One area of the fast food business that has taken a real hit has been breakfast. Breakfast sales have fallen sharply simply because so many people are no longer going to work in the morning. Solving this problem is going to be difficult for product managers, An ad campaign won’t do the trick – it can be very hard to convince people to venture outside of their homes just to get breakfast. Starbucks is dealing with this problem also. Their plan is to build more locations in urban areas that are designed for takeout and advance ordering.

What All Of This Means For You

The arrival of the Covid-19 virus has turned the restaurant industry upside down. Traditional dine-in restaurants are suffering because they have had to close down and their customers are staying at home. However, the fast food restaurants have found ways to keep business booming.

Fast food restaurant product managers have had to take a look at their product manager job description and make a number of changes in order to keep their operations running. The have shrunk their menus, closed their dining rooms, and created better deals for their customers. Two of the biggest fast food chains, McDonalds and Burger King have seen their sales fall as the virus hit and then rebound as life tried to get back to normal. Changes that had been forecasted to take years to arrive are now showing up. The lack of competition has allowed the fast food product managers to be successful. Suburban locations are doing better than urban locations because they support drive-thru service. Breakfast service has taken a hit because people are no longer going to the office in the morning. Starbucks is trying to deal with the new reality by creating takeout and advance ordering locations.

The world certainly has changed. Restaurant product managers are still reeling with the changes and are trying to determine how best to cater to their customer’s changing needs in the era of the Covid-19 virus. Fast food restaurants appear to be doing the best and their customers are flocking to their stores. The challenge going forward will be to determine how best to keep these customers coming to these restaurants. Clearly everything has changed and now product managers need to determine if these changes are temporary or if they are here for good.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: What can fast food restaurant product managers do to restart breakfast sales?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Product Manager Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Product Manager Newsletter are now available. It’s your product – it’s your career. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it, today when you see a car on the road you expect to see a person sitting behind the wheel. However, if some very smart product managers have their way, in the future you might be seeing driverless cars whizzing around. This is all brand new stuff, but there have been a number of very large investments being made in companies that make robotic delivery vehicles that are driverless. Will their product managers be able to solve all of the challenges that will be coming with this new technology?

The post Product Managers Prepare For The Future Of Fast Food appeared first on The Accidental Product Manager.

Uber Eats invades restaurants with Dine-In option

Tired of cleaning up after take-out or getting hangry waiting at your table in restaurants? Well Uber Eats is barging into the dine-in business. A new option in some cities lets you order your food ahead of time, go to the restaurant, and then sit down inside to eat, a tipster from competing dine-in app Allset tells us. We tested it, and Uber Eats Dine-In even waives the standard Uber delivery and service fees.

Adding Dine-In lets Uber Eats insert itself into more food transactions, expand to restaurants that care about presentation and don’t do delivery, and avoid paying drivers while earning low-overhead revenue. Uber’s Dine-In option is now available in some cities including Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego where it could save diners time and fees while helping restaurants fill empty tables and waiters earn tips.

UberEats Dine In Option

Uber confirmed the existence of the Dine-In option, telling me “We’re always thinking about new ways to enhance the Eats experience.” They also verified there are no delivery or service fees, and restaurants get 100% of tips left in-app buy users. However, we found some items were silently marked up from restaurants’ listed prices in both Uber Eats Delivery and Dine-In options, which could help it make some money directly from these purchases. We also discovered this buried Uber Help Center FAQ with more details.

Uber has been rapidly experimenting with Uber Eats, trying discounted specials, Uber Eats Pool where you pay less for slower delivery, and $9.99 unlimited delivery subscriptions. It’s steadily becoming an omnivore.

How Uber Dine-In Works

Dine-in appears next to the Delivery and Pick-Up options across the top of the Uber Eats app in select cities. You can choose to go eat “ASAP” or in some cases schedule when you want to arrive and sit down. You’ll be shown how long the food will take to prep, distance to the restaurant, your price, and the restaurant’s rating. You’ll then be notified as the order is prepared and approaches readiness. Then you just deliver yourself to the restaurant and add a tip in-app or on the table.

Uber Eats should obviously make it easy for you to hail an Uber with the restaurant as the pre-set destination. An Uber spokesperson called that a good idea but not something it’s doing yet. Back in 2016, Uber tried a merchant-sponsored rides option where you’d get a rebate on your travel if you spent money at a given store. You could imagine restaurants that want to show off their ambiance giving customers some money back if they come across town to eat there.

Uber Dine In

The new feature could spell trouble for other dine-in apps like Allset that’s been in the business for four years. Users might also opt for Uber Eats Dine-In over restaurant reservation apps like OpenTable and Resy. Why waste time waiting to order and for your food to be cooked when you could just show up as it comes out of the oven?

“I think that more delivery players will be tapping into dine-in space. It’s all about convenience and time saving. But it’s going to be very difficult for them, given their focus on delivery” AllsetCEO Stas Matviyenko said of Uber becoming a competitor. He believes dedicated apps for different modes of dining will succeed. But Uber Eats’ ubiquity and its one-stop-shop model for all your dining needs could make it stickier than a dine-in only app you use less frequently.


With Dine-In, Uber could aid restaurants that are empty at the start or end of their open hours. Last year we reported that Uber Eats was giving restaurants prominence in a Featured section of the app to drive up demand if they offered discounts to customers. Similarly, Uber could let restaurants entice more Dine-In customers especially when foot-traffic was slow by providing discounts on food or subsidized Uber transportation. Better to knock a dollar or two off an entree if it means filling the restaurant at 5:30 or 9:30pm.

And now that Uber Eats does delivery, take-out, and dine-in, it’d make perfect sense to offer traditional restaurant reservations through the app as well. That would pit it directly against OpenTable, Resy, and Yelp. Instead of trying to own a single use case that might only appeal to certain demographics in certain situations, Uber Eats’ strategy is crystallizing: be the app you open whenever you’re hungry.