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Uber adds new ways to buy concert tickets and book restaurants in its app

Uber adds new ways to buy concert tickets and book restaurants in its app


Introducing the Explore tab

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Uber introduced a new app feature called “Explore” that allows customers to buy concert tickets, book restaurant reservations, and get discounted rides to popular destinations. It’s the latest attempt by the ride-share company to turn its app into more of a lifestyle product.

Uber has always had aspirations outside of just being a taxi broker. But as the company shifts more into food and grocery delivery, it can be hard to remember its roots as a product used by people to move around cities. Now, Uber wants to remind its customers of that legacy, while also bringing more Yelp-style features into its app.

Starting March 1st, Uber customers in over a dozen North American cities will see the new Explore tab when they open the app. Tapping on it brings up a variety of live event and restaurant recommendations that they are encouraged to check out. And if this sounds a lot like Yelp, it’s by design: restaurant reservations are handled through a Yelp integration in the app, and Uber is even featuring that company’s five-star ratings for restaurants in Explore.

Another integration, with PredictHQ, brings in live event recommendations. And if customers need a ride to any of these destinations, Uber is offering a discount: 15 percent (up to $10) off rides to locations included in Explore. An Uber spokesperson declined to share which third-party ticket sellers it was working with to power that part of the Explore tab.

Ultimately, Uber sees it as a way of enhancing its preexisting product. “We’ve built Uber Explore to take our customers beyond the ride,” Adib Roumani, product lead for Uber Explore, said in a statement. The company clearly sees an opportunity to enhance its core product, especially as more people — such as business travelers — are returning to ride-hailing.