Deliveroo chief executive Will Shu has hailed his newly announced platform Deliveroo Editions as the future of food delivery and the most exciting development since he founded the company.
Officially launching the new platform yesterday at a delivery only ‘dark kitchen’ in Camberwell, Shu said following several months of trialling operations, indications were that operator revenue from the service was similar to when working with Deliveroo from a traditional restaurant.
While he avoided going into the specific financial arrangements, saying terms were negotiated on a case by case basis, he said with Deliveroo largely shouldering the capital costs for the off-site kitchens, operators would be charged a higher rate of commission than at a typical restaurant.
The London-based tech company has been trialling Editions sites at Camberwell, Battersea, Dulwich and Canary Wharf, while MCA has established a fifth site is expected to come online in Hove in the coming months.
By the end of 2017 Deliveroo expects to be working with more than 200 restaurant operators at 30 different sites, with around five or six at each site.
The sites and operators are chosen according to Deliveroo data which identifies customer demand in the area, and the level of supply of particular cuisines already available, with Camberwell seen as a ripe area for Editions due to its dense population and comparatively small number of quality restaurants.
Deliveroo is also targeting international expansion, with Editions set to launch in Singapore next week and Dubai later this year.
Speaking at the official launch in Camberwell, Shu said: “I think this is going to a significant part of our business.
“It is the most exciting development for us since we launched the company in terms of new way of doing business. We thing this is the future of food delivery, 100%. It works for all the parties involved.”
Shu said the platform gave customers more choice of food with quicker delivery times and more dedicated delivery service, while giving operators the chance to reach more specifically targeted customers without investing capital, and ultimately making more revenue.
Deliveroo underwrite the risk of the sites, and operators can contribute to the site infrastructure and equipment if they choose to, in which case they are charged the same commission as a normal restaurant, however the rate is higher when Deliveroo pays for the sites, Shu said.
The platform draws on market analysis and Deliveroo data to identify specific cuisines missing in an area, identify customer demand for that missing cuisine and hand-pick restaurant brands that are most likely to appeal to customers in that area.
Shu stopped short of saying Editions would replace delivery from traditional restaurants altogether, but explained how the operational difficulties in running restaurant service and home delivery simultaneously was the inspiration for the platform.
He added: “The first idea was 18 months ago, we were sat down with some our top partners in London, and while they said we’d increased revenue, they were getting so busy, the front of house was getting slammed, the back of house was getting slammed.
“The idea was how we segregate the in-house business and delivery business so you can do both better.
“Then we realised we could help people expand a lot more, and make a lot more money.”
Operators to have signed up so far include MEATLiquor, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Busaba Eathai, Senor Ceviche, On The Bab, Yoobi, Dirty Bones, Franco Manca, and Motu Indian Kitchen.
Alongside established restaurant groups, Deliveroo Editions also works with independent restaurants and food start-ups, such as Crust Bros.