Mobile Commerce

Deliveroo Is Building Kitchens To Bring On-Demand To The Underserved

In a global market crowded with on-demand services offering everything from socks, to laundry, to any number of variations on food (pre-cooked, grocery, QSR takeout, fine dining, homemade), it can be paradoxically hard to distinguish oneself.

And, in the quest to be novel, Deliveroo, an on-demand delivery service for restaurant food, has come up with a fairly unique idea to boost its service's footprint: kitchens.

Specifically, Deliveroo has started investing in kitchen space as a means of helping the service grow into new areas, particularly those that are underserved by restaurants (which tend to clump in cities). According to Deliveroo Cofounder Will Shu, there are a lot of residential areas in London (where Deliveroo is based) that just don't have enough restaurants to go around.

The idea is called RooBox, and the plan is to draw restaurants into those neighborhoods that have takeout demand but not quite the ability to support a sit-down establishment. The RooBox is their cooking space. Deliveroo makes the upfront investment in the space, and the restaurant enters into an agreement for use. Deliveroo is now selling merchants access to both hungry customers and a place to prep their dinners.

“Deliveroo’s on a mission to transform takeaway, and RooBox is an exciting step towards that,” Shu said in a statement. “Not only will this expand the options available to customers in areas of limited restaurant supply, but it also helps our partner restaurants expand to new areas at low risk.”

RooBox also allows the firm to remain committed to its hyperlocal delivery zones, which exist to make sure that customers get their food quickly enough so as to not have already cooled. Since Deliveroo focuses on higher-end fare, as opposed to QSR cost, Shu notes those concerns are particularly central.

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