Uber Eats will filter for allergies and plastic straws as it becomes part of Uber app

Photo: Josie_Desmarais (iStock)

Now that app-based food delivery has conquered the dining habits of people from every walk of life, it’s time to address the next essential set of questions: how to fix all the issues people have with food delivery apps so far. Sure, it’s great being able to summon fast food to your location at all hours of the day or night, but when drivers feel like they’re left struggling to make ends meet, and customers too often have to fret over the potential weirdness of human beings, the whole industry is left in a difficult position.

To that end, Uber Eats is attempting to address at least a few of these issues. As part of a broader announcement last week regarding future changes to Uber at large, a number of major changes to the Uber Eats platform were announced, which will include Uber Eats no longer standing as its own individual app. Uber Eats will now be part of the Uber app; upon opening Uber, you’ll soon be asked if you’re in need of a ride or you just want some food.

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Another notable change will see Uber Eats introduce allergy filters for its restaurants, allowing customers with dietary restrictions to more easily request special preparations from restaurants, or avoid dishes that could trigger an attack: “When choosing a dish, you can easily communicate your allergy or dietary restriction to restaurants through the app. If a restaurant can’t accommodate a request, they can message you and provide an opportunity to order another item that fits your needs.”

One piece of food for thought, if anybody from Uber happens upon this news item: it might be equally beneficial to make these alerts visible to drivers as well. It’s unlikely to occur to most, but knowing whether your couriers might be sensitive to the same allergens could be beneficial. Drivers have allergies, or they have people in their cars who have allergies (yes, this isn’t supposed to happen, and yes this happens semi-regularly anyway), and such a change could be meaningful for many.

The other major changes include new driver payment structures, as well as an option for refusing extra straws and plastic cutlery (which DoorDash already offers). Clearly, Uber Eats is looking to at once catch up with and surpass the competition, in addition to becoming the best friend of sinister data miners, who’ll undoubtedly be grateful for our willingness to list physical weaknesses alongside our exact locations at some point in the future.

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