COVID-19

For Uber, a diverse business model is the key to weathering COVID-19

Erika Beras Aug 6, 2020
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An Uber Eats delivery worker riding an electric scooter in New York City in March. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
COVID-19

For Uber, a diverse business model is the key to weathering COVID-19

Erika Beras Aug 6, 2020
Heard on:
An Uber Eats delivery worker riding an electric scooter in New York City in March. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Uber is expected to report quarterly results Thursday. It’s been a tough time for the ride-sharing part of its business, with people sheltering in place and hunkering down during the pandemic. So, the company has had to make some changes.

Uber’s core business of ride-sharing relies on people going out. Which was a problem when people started staying at home. Gad Allon is a professor of operations and information at Wharton. He’s looked at how the shutdown has affected the company and describes it as a “huge hit.” 

“It would take a while to bounce back,” Allon said.

But Allon said that unlike some other companies, Uber has diversified. There’s Uber Eats, a food ordering and delivery platform. This spring, some people ordered more takeout food and drinks from restaurants. 

Then, the company committed to buying delivery startup Postmates for more than $2.6 billion. New York University professor Arun Sundararajan, author of “The Sharing Economy,” said that acquisition shows “that they are doubling down on the Eats and delivery business as their path to short-term growth.”  

And he said, in a few years, when more of us are back to working in offices, we may use more ride-share services like Uber again. 

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