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White Castle delivers crave-worthy experiences with Uber Direct and Uber Eats

May 9, 2024 | Global

Billy Ingram, affectionately named the Granddaddy of the Hamburger, ignited the fast-food revolution when he opened White Castle over 100 years ago. His bold vision? To sell delicious, square-shaped hamburgers for just 5 cents—a concept that captured hearts and taste buds alike.

Today, White Castle’s mission is as simple as its original offering: to create memorable moments every day, in-store and now online as well. We spoke with Steve Foreman, Director of Operations Services for White Castle, to discuss how the company works with Uber Direct and Uber Eats to help the company grow its business one delicious delivery at a time.

White Castle, by the numbers:


growth in online sales since 2022

of sales reinvested in ads and promotions

White Castle drives incremental sales with convenient online ordering and delivery

The restaurant company recognized the rising popularity of food delivery when it introduced online and phone ordering in 2012. All the orders made through White Castle’s website or by phone, though, needed to be picked up at a physical restaurant. It took 5 more years for White Castle to adopt third-party delivery, starting with Uber Eats in 2017. “Customers loved how they could satisfy their cravings with just the touch of a button on Uber Eats,” says Foreman. Online order volume started to grow. But without POS integration, multiple tablets were piled next to the registers, and orders were manually entered into the POS—a process Foreman aptly describes as “clunky.” White Castle needed a better solution, which it found with a full POS integration and the addition of Uber Direct in 2023.

Better together: a fully integrated solution with Uber Direct and Uber Eats

Fully integrating online ordering and delivery solutions freed White Castle’s staff from manually moving orders from the Uber Eats tablet to the POS. This improved order accuracy and reduced operational errors. “In order to have a good customer experience,” says Foreman, “you want the team members to have a good experience. Because if they're not happy behind the counter, they’re not going to project the right energy to customers across the counter.”

Adding Uber Direct gave White Castle a cost-effective way to offer convenient delivery to its most loyal customers, who were already ordering on the White Castle website and app. With no commission fees for the restaurant and lower delivery fees for its customers, “Uber Direct is a win-win,” says Foreman. Plus, when customers order from the White Castle website, Uber Direct provides the restaurant with Uber-managed support to help take care of customers throughout the entire delivery process, should any issues arise. And the proof is in the patty: the restaurant’s online orders have more than doubled between 2022 and 1Q 2024.

“White-label delivery with Uber for orders received on our website or app reduces our costs compared to orders we get from third-party apps, yet it still maintains the same level of convenience that our loyal customers expect.”

Steve Foreman, Director of Operations Services, White Castle

An exclusive relationship with Uber Direct

Behind every successful restaurant enterprise is a great network of partners. Uber Direct is happy to be part of that network through an exclusive partnership with White Castle for white-label delivery across all 338 locations. “Uber has been a great partner,” Foreman says. “Uber focuses as much as they can on the merchant. It's refreshing because it's not a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.”

Foreman and his colleagues were particularly pleased with how seamless the systems integration has been with Uber Direct. “The orders automatically appear on the POS screen, and that’s magic,” he says. 

Additionally, when White Castle was ready to roll out first-party delivery through its website and app, the Uber Direct team was there to support them at every step. “They made a good effort over 3 to 4 months to help us complete the API integration and make sure it was running smoothly first in one location,” Foreman recalls. “Once it was live, we learned a lot and tweaked some things to improve the experience. From there, we were able to roll it out castle by castle pretty quickly, and customers love it. We know the customer is in good hands with Uber,” says Foreman. “They get a link so they can track their order as it's being delivered. And they also get a number to call if they want to ask any kind of questions or get support.”

Learn more about Uber Direct

Attracting new customers with Uber Eats marketing

White Castle views Uber Eats and Uber Direct as complementary solutions that together help their company satisfy customers and grow their business online. With Uber Direct, White Castle brings added convenience to its most loyal followers. With Uber Eats, it attracts new customers and helps the brand stay top of mind.

Reaching new and lapsed customers is a primary goal on Uber Eats. White Castle regularly invests in a wide range of promotions and sponsored listings to keep the brand top-of-mind. With Uber Eats, White Castle can be more flexible and targeted with its marketing budget, which typically equals about 1.5% of sales. Compared with traditional online and offline channels that are typically budgeted and planned weeks or months in advance, Uber Eats offers White Castle a more agile approach. With Uber Eats, White Castle can adjust budgets on the fly and easily shift budgets to the most effective ads and promotions, helping White Castle to maximize its return on ad spending. As with all the promotions on the Uber Eats app, White Castle only pays when someone makes a purchase, which helps White Castle boost business while keeping a lid on costs.

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