If you thought lockdown couldn’t get any worse, you wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere near Melbourne last night. Restaurant owners were left out of pocket and people all over the city were confused and hungry when their Uber Eats deliveries took over an hour to arrive due to a city-wide glitch with the app.

The glitch meant that the orders were received by restaurants but drivers were never sent to pick up the food. While a 90-minute wait for food may seem trivial, it was a harrowing situation for small, family-owned restaurants.

Many restaurants prepared large amounts of ordered takeaway food that was left sitting at the restaurant getting cold. When Uber Eats customer’s food orders didn’t show up after a significant amount of time, the customers cancelled the food as there was no communication about where their meals were or why it was taking so long.

Italian restaurant owner Liza Russo told the Herald Sun that the glitch cost them “hundreds and hundreds” of dollars.

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“At about 7.20 I said ‘why have we got so many orders sitting there?” she said.

“Half an hour, an hour is going by and I’m thinking my food is going cold.

“There was a glitch in the system, so Uber wasn’t able to get in touch with the drivers to send them out to restaurants,” Russo said.

“We rang all our customers on Uber and we were apologising, please what can we do, can we deliver?

Russo revealed that her staff ended up delivering the meals themselves. “My staff dropped everything, we got in our car and we started delivering.”

The glitch didn’t just affect small restaurants and hungry locked down Melbournians, Uber Eats drivers were also left with a lack of work for the night.

“An hour and 49 minutes later about five or six drivers rocked up,” Russo said.

“One driver turned around and said he’d made five dollars within the last hour.

“They’d had no orders whatsoever.”

Photos of the stacked up orders have been circulating around social media. Off the Boat Pizzeria, an Italian restaurant in Reservoir 19 boxes of pizza stacked up and eight takeaway bags stuffed with food. “Uber eats where are u??” the photo was captioned.

A  Facebook user posted about the situation to a FB group called “Northcote, Thornbury & Farifield Takeaway & Dine In”. The post has received 123 comments as of now with small businesses and customers alike sharing their experience of last nights glitch.

“Coming from the industry – Uber EATS will refund the public their full fee however they will only refund the restaurant 50% of the order

My belief is that if you’ve cooked it and have it ready then Uber EATS should be refunding you the entirety of the order. Regardless of their system failure, the restaurant still has to pay the staff, food cost, on costs etc,” commented a Facebook user.

Restaurants even resorted to giving away their cancelled orders for free, because they didn’t want the food to go to waste.

Sir James Pizza is a restaurant in Melbourne that was affected by the UberEats outage

A spokesperson for Uber Eats addressed the situation and said the glitch was caused by an “unprecedented number of orders being made through the app at the same time”.

“This has impacted restaurants, delivery people, and eaters across Melbourne and we sincerely apologise to all those affected,” she said.

“While the outage has now been resolved, our focus is on ensuring that all impacted restaurants and consumers are reimbursed, and we are making contact with impacted delivery people across Melbourne.

“While outages like this are extremely rare, we acknowledge the meaningful impact to individuals and businesses, and again we sincerely apologise.”

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