Uber Eats, the ride-hailing firm’s food delivery arm, has reportedly begun testing a way to give restaurants a boost in search rankings in exchange for offering discounts.
The feature, called ‘Uber Specials’, works as what is effectively a native ad unit. It enables restaurants to bundle food items together and sell them at a discounted price in order to be featured within ‘Specials’ section. In some instances, the cost of the discount will be covered by the restaurant, while Uber will cover the others.
Uber Specials was first discovered by mobile researcher Jane Manchun Wong, where she found a test for a ‘Promoted Items’ buried within the Uber Eats app.
The trial of the feature is currently running in markets around India. “We’re always experimenting with ways to make it easier to find your favourite foods on Uber Eats,” said Uber in a statement to TechCrunch. It remains to be seen whether Uber will expand the new strategy into other markets.