In cities that don’t enjoy the, ahem, dependable public transport available to New Yorkers, Uber has revolutionized the bar and restaurant industries. Download the app, and diners no longer need to worry about designated drivers; nor is there any risk of a pre-booked cab cutting a good night short.
Now, the ride-hailing app looks set to further shake up the hospitality sector with its Vouchers service.
“Uber Vouchers make it easy for businesses of all types to sponsor transportation and create a differentiated experience — attracting new customers, rewarding existing ones, or enhancing customer service — by taking care of getting them there,” the company says in a press release.
Or, to put it in simpler terms, businesses — including restaurants and bars — can now offer customers pre-paid rides, getting them to and/or from their establishments.
“While many restaurants are already leveraging Uber Eats to reach more consumers with delivery, they now have the ability to promote dine-in experiences by removing barriers to get to their physical locations,” Uber says.
Companies can tailor every part of the experience, determining things like the ride value, pick-up and drop-off locations, and times. Vouchers can be shared via email, social media, or messaging services.
Some businesses already planning to use Vouchers include TGI Friday’s, the Golden State Warriors, LiveNation, and MGM Resorts — each of which has spent the last year helping Uber develop the Voucher experience.
In all likelihood, bars and restaurants will use Vouchers as a means of attracting customers during off-peak times. Yet, the innovative service could also be used to reduce the risk of drunk driving, a kind of “you enjoy that extra drink and we’ll cover your ride home” quid pro quo.
If you are ordering an Uber, however, it’s probably a good idea to make sure it’s just the one extra drink you’re enjoying.