Uber is expanding its business model outside North America for the first time with a kind of monthly subscription and is launching its "Uber One" service in Berlin. The membership, which costs just under five euros a month, eliminates delivery fees for subscribers to the Uber Eat meal delivery service. In addition, the logistics company grants a five percent discount for minimum orders of ten euros. For ride brokers, the discount for subscribers is ten percent.
Brokered cab rides, however, are excluded from the discounts in "Uber One" because the legal framework in Germany provides for fixed cab rates. The classic cab trade feels unfairly pressured by ride broker Uber and accuses the U.S. competitor of not adhering to all the regulations of the trade - for example, with regard to the obligation to return.
Under the Passenger Transportation Act, for-hire services must return to their place of operation after each trip unless they have a follow-up contract. Uber states that its partner companies and their drivers comply with the regulations.
Uber's new subscription service, which is similar to Amazon Prime in that its main purpose is customer loyalty, is to be gradually expanded to other cities in Germany after a test phase. However, Uber customers from Berlin will also be granted the discounts when they are on the road in other cities.
Experts also see Uber's subscription model as an attempt to more closely intertwine traditional ride-hailing and food delivery with Uber Eats. The clear market leader in the delivery services business in Germany is Lieferando from the Dutch group Just Eat Takeaway.
But competition has intensified in recent months. For Uber, meal deliveries had become a more important pillar of the business after the use of ride services slumped in the Corona pandemic.