Uber Eats Is Shutting Down Thousands of Listings, Here's Why

The delivery service is hoping to de-clutter the app experience by targeting repeat menus.

The UberEats app displays on an iPhone

Ben Stansall / AFP via Getty Images

Your Uber Eats app may look a little different the next time you open it.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Uber Eats is delisting restaurants from the app to thin out low-quality listings. This, a rep from Uber Eats confirmed to The Verge, will ensure that the listings left conform to its new set of standards for virtual restaurants, otherwise known as ghost kitchens.

The issue, The Verge reported, is that many ghost kitchens do not have a physical location for hungry patrons to pick up their orders in person. Uber Eats does not plan to punish these ghost kitchens, and even encourages them for entrepreneurial growth. However, problems arise when these ghost kitchens run out of larger restaurants or chains, and produce the exact same menus, thus leading to repetitive listings, something social media users have become wise to, and annoyed by, in recent months.

Uber Eats will target these duplicate listings and delete those with low-quality results. According to The Verge, the app will now require ghost kitchen menus to be “at least 60% different” from any other ghost kitchens “operating from that same physical location.” It will also require the ghost kitchen and its parent restaurant to maintain at least a 4.3-star rating, with fewer than 5% of its orders canceled.

“Communicating — and beginning to enforce — these new quality standards for Virtual Restaurants on Uber Eats is an important step for our program, designed to benefit both consumers and merchants,” John Mullenholz, Uber’s virtual restaurant head, shared with The Verge. “We took care to introduce standards that let our restaurant partners continue to flex their creativity, as we know delivery-only concepts are an exciting way for operators to invest in the growth of their businesses.”

To date, The Wall Street Journal reports, it has removed some 5,000 ghost kitchen listings from the app. However, this marks just a fraction of those that exist on the app. According to WSJ, there are currently more than 40,000 ghost kitchens in the app, including one deli in New York City that had the same menu listed under 14 different names.

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