The Caterer

Deliveroo to open 10 more Roobox kitchens, mulls collect business

25 May 2016 by
Deliveroo to open 10 more Roobox kitchens, mulls collect business

Food delivery service Deliveroo is to open 10 more kitchens in London in the next few months.

Head of sales Nick Green said the firm aimed to "create the perfect restaurant selection in any given area" and would expand the Roobox concept "around the UK and the world very soon".

Deliveroo confirmed the Roobox initiative earlier this month. The move is in response to a lack of popular restaurants and takeaway businesses within certain areas. The firm makes the upfront investment in kitchens, with foodservice partners providing the chefs. Deliveroo then takes a cut of revenue to recoup its investment.

"There are some areas, particularly in London, where we can't service our customers as well as we would like," Green told The Caterer's Digital Summit. "It is all well and good asking partners to set up but that is expensive. So the idea is we acquire sites, they provide the chefs [and the food] and we do the rest."

Initial Roobox customers include Tommi's Burger Joint, Yoobi Sushi and Vietnamese food specialist Salvation in Noodles. The first two Roobox kitchens have been established in Battersea and Dulwich. The company is now in negotiations with landlords in east and north London among other locations.

Burgers have proved a particularly popular choice for delivery. Green said partners such as Tommi's Burgers "were struggling to get the funds to expand and this was a very quick win for them". Roobox allows operators to "dip their toe in the water without spending money." He said partners could be up and running in a Roobox kitchen within two weeks.

While the move to physical properties is a clear diversification for the business, which raised £75 million in funding last year, Green said Deliveroo hd no current plans to take on its own chefs and white label operations for clients. "We are not looking at [hiring] our own chefs," he said. "We are not getting into the restaurant business."

Green said Deliveroo was also eyeing the collection market as well as expanding corporate partnerships (he said Facebook is a corporate partner and regularly gives its employees £25 Deliveroo vouchers) in a bid to build its lunchtime business. Currently the split is around 70% dinner/30% lunch according to Green.

"Collection is a very interesting area for us to look at. A lot of partners are asking for it. It is definitely something we will look into," he said.

Green added that Deliveroo was also "looking at integrating [directly] with restaurants' point of sale systems".

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