Uber Eats launches 'busy area' fee, charges more during peak hours

delivering food on Uber Eats
The popular food delivery app rolled out the surprise move on Monday. Photo credit: Getty.

Uber Eats has announced the launch of a new 'busy area' fee, meaning you may get charged more during peak delivery times.

The popular food delivery app sent an email to its Auckland users on Monday morning, announcing the changes to fees during "times of high demand," effective immediately.

"During these times, you may be asked to pay a higher delivery fee to your restaurant when you place an order," the email explains.

The fee has reportedly already been operating in Wellington but is a first for Auckland foodies.

"[It] is designed to help ensure you have a wide selection of your favourite local restaurants, even during times of high demand when selection may otherwise be limited," the email adds.

The user will be notified of the busy fee in a similar way to higher fees on the Uber rideshare app. If a busy area fee applies, an arrow will appear below the restaurant name and the higher delivery fee will be displayed above the menu and reflected on the order receipt.

Earlier this year Uber Eats trialled variable delivery fees in Brisbane, meaning restaurants closer to the user had a cheaper delivery fee, and those further away more expensive.

Last year they also trialled 'walking deliveries' in Auckland central, with people walking in busy urban areas to deliver the food.