Please enable Javascript
Skip to main content

Start a virtual restaurant

Build a successful online-only food delivery business that can help attract customers and increase sales using the power of the Uber Eats platform.

Benefits of starting a virtual restaurant

Virtual restaurants (VRs) can offer exciting new growth opportunities when they’re built on principles similar to those of a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Generate new revenue

Increase same-store sales and boost order volumes by building a strong online concept that operates out of the same kitchen as your brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Capture new audiences

Attract customers by creating a distinct brand identity for your VR and bringing it to life in all aspects of your concept—from your logo and menu to your appearance on Uber Eats.

Operate efficiently

Minimize costs by using existing staff, kitchen space, and ingredients with the flexibility to expand or invest in new VR concepts as you grow your online-only business.

Success story: Ha! Poke and Hot Lips

How do you operate a fried chicken restaurant out of a kitchen that serves poke? Let Manager Jamie Mitchell show you how they launched Hot Lips virtual restaurant on the Uber Eats platform.


How to start a virtual restaurant

Even online, delivery-only restaurants need well-thought-out concepts that operate under principles similar to those of brick-and-mortar restaurants. Here are a few key ingredients for starting a virtual restaurant on Uber Eats:

Step 1: Invest in building a strong, lasting brand

  • Establish a unique brand that defines who you are, what you care about, and what you offer to customers.
  • Create a professionally designed logo that’s showcased on your Uber Eats app profile, your digital and social channels, your delivery menu, and your packaging and to-go bags.
  • Leverage in-app marketing tools, such as Ads and Offers on Uber Eats, and other digital marketing tactics, including your website, email, and social media channels. This will help build awareness, generate demand, and keep customers ordering again and again.

Step 2: Create a fully designed online menu that offers customers lots of high-quality choices that they crave

  • Make it easy for customers to find what they want quickly. List your menu items by groups and cuisine types that customers will understand. Write short descriptions (140 to 260 characters long).
  • Add your beverage menu and give drink details, including flavors and size choices.
  • Showcase your food with craveable photos, which can help you capture the attention of hungry eaters when they’re searching.

Step 3: Focus on maintaining a best-in-class in-house operation—even though you’re a virtual restaurant

  • Create a full menu that’s specifically designed for delivery only. Leverage existing kitchen equipment, SKUs, and your kitchen staff’s culinary expertise.
  • Choose sustainable packaging that allows you to maintain your food quality when it’s in transit to customers. Generally, food items should uphold quality and taste until at least 30 to 45 minutes after preparation.
  • Monitor your operational metrics and compare them against benchmarks that you’d establish for a brick-and-mortar restaurant, such as order accuracy, average order size, average delivery time, customer reorder rate, and customer ratings and reviews.

Virtual Restaurant Policy on Multi-storefront Locations

All existing virtual restaurants (VRs) operated from a single physical location (i.e. multi-storefront locations) should adhere to the quality guidelines stipulated below. Uber Eats reserves the right to place VRs that are not in compliance, in whole or in part, with these requirements, to a quality consultation watchlist

UberEats reserves the right to modify this policy at any time in its discretion. Last updated in June 2023.

    • Have a hero image and the images of at least 5 menu items that are unique to the VR.
    • Include menu items that are at least 60% unique, i.e. different from menu items of other VR operating from that same physical location
    • Maintain at least an eater rating of 3.75 on UE platform
    • Maintain an order cancellation rate below 5% or fewer in the L28D, according to UEM reporting
    • Maintain an order inaccuracy rate below 5% or fewer in the last 28D, according to UEM reporting
    • Maintain at least an online rate of 70% in the L28D, according to UEM reporting
    • Complete at least an avg. of 2 orders per week in the L28D

Frequently asked questions

  • A virtual restaurant is a concept that only accepts and fulfills digital off-premises orders and operates out of a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Select your preferred language