Just Eat has made its first foray into dark kitchens after launching its own ‘digital pop-ups’ scheme with Vessel, MCA understands.

The partnership, which began earlier this year, is currently live in Manchester, Leeds and London, with Vessel, which is licensed to produce food on behalf of brands such as Bird, Buns & Buns and Dirty Bones.

Vessel leverages the real estate of associate business Park Jockey, which includes Dirty Bones’ Dipak Panchal as a director, to open delivery only kitchens in carparks and unused industrial space, and is operational in c7 sites across the UK, with plans for 50.

“The pop-ups are a fantastic way for us to give customers a taste of great new flavours which they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to enjoy and helping small innovative businesses expand to new areas - enabling them to test the water without the risk associated with setting up a bricks and mortar shop,” a Just Eat spokesperson said.

Just Eat told MCA it was sharing information on customers’ food preferences in specific locations to allow restaurants to tailor their menus, and providing data on order patterns to give insight to restaurants when setting their delivery ranges or when considering where to open new outlets.

The September print edition of MCA includes a special report on the rise of virtual brands.