Uber Eats is to launch a restaurant accelerator program in London to cater to unmet demand from customers on its food delivery platform.
The company is planning the accelerator in partnership with Karma Kitchen, a kitchen-space provider in East London, Quartz reports.
Restaurants selected for the three-week program will work on everything from photographing food to streamlining delivery operations. The program, expected to launch in the next few months, will take place at Karma Kitchen’s facility in Bethnal Green.
Uber Eats will pick five to seven restaurant concepts to join the accelerator based on selection gaps it identifies on its platform within two miles of Karma Kitchen.
Toussaint Wattinne, Uber Eats’s general manager for the UK and Ireland, said the accelerator is designed to help successful restaurants with at least one location expand their business.
“We want to really aim for the partner that already has very strong operating metrics,” he said.
“We want to help them and support them in expanding because they might not have the financial capabilities, they might not have the confidence to do that by themselves.”
The accelerator program will work intensively with restaurateurs on operations, branding, and marketing.
Restaurants will receive help with hiring, passing a food hygiene inspection, streamlining workflows to keep delivery times low, and even using accounting software.
Wattinne said Uber aims to run the accelerator multiple times per year, depending on the success of the first one.
After restaurants graduate from the accelerator, Uber will guarantee their orders for at least six weeks.
Uber will ensure restaurants receive enough demand and orders to meet basic costs like rent, but won’t directly subsidize businesses.
“We’re finalizing a commercial guarantee,” Wattinne said. “Uber is providing a commitment to support those brands as they scale.”