Deliveroo unveils ambitious Irish growth plans

Food delivery service intends to grow restaurant count by about 66% this year

Deliveroo wants to work with over 85,000 restaurants in Europe by the end of 2019. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Deliveroo wants to work with over 85,000 restaurants in Europe by the end of 2019. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

 

Food delivery service Deliveroo has set out ambitious plans to grow its restaurant count by about 66 per cent in the coming year in Ireland as part of wider growth in Europe.

In the Republic, Deliveroo intends to offer food from almost 1,000 restaurants on its platform by the end of this year, up from the roughly 600 it currently offers.

As part of that growth, the London-headquartered service will also recruit new riders, increasing the number it employs from about 900 to more than 1,000.

The company, which is facing increasing competition from Uber Eats and Just Eat, will launch its service in Blanchardstown this week and in Swords shortly thereafter.

This year will see aggressive expansion in Europe, where the company hopes to reach 100 million people by the end of the year.

“We are excited about our growth plans for Europe in 2019, where we will reach more customers, offer more riders flexible, well-paid work, and help more restaurants to expand their customer base to increase sales,” said Alessandro Celli, managing director of Deliveroo in continental Europe.

New employment protection legislation aimed at providing greater support to those with casual working arrangements came into effect here on Monday. Some Deliveroo drivers here have protested about the precarious terms of employment as recently as Saturday.

‘Cash out’ system

Deliveroo said it would improve its offer to riders by introducing “cash out”, a system that allows riders to opt to receive fees the next day if they wish to. Last year the company started paying riders more for longer deliveries.

Privately-held Deliveroo works in 14 markets in more than 500 towns and cities. It expects to work with over 85,000 restaurants in Europe by the end of 2019 and develop 1,700 new virtual brands.

The virtual brands system allows restaurants to set up and run multiple food offerings from their existing premises. The service was recently launched in Ireland. One early user in the UK was reported to be Brody Sweeney’s Camile Thai, which launched a virtual brand in London last year called Slammin’ Ramen.

Deliveroo works by charging a restaurant commission which typically ranges between 20 and 30 per cent of the total cost of a meal. It also charges €2.99 for delivery, although it has launched a Netflix-type service that allows users to pay a flat fee of €10.99 per month for unlimited free delivery.

Separately, doughnut lovers in Dublin will no longer have to move from the comfort of the couch to get their hands on their favourite treats following a new partnership between delivery app Just Eat Ireland and Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme entered the Irish market with a doughnut outlet in the Blanchardstown Centre in October. The opening of the store led to a queue of 300 people at 7am on its first day of operation, before it was subsequently forced to axe its 24/7 drive-through operation because of multiple complaints from local residents.

Just Eat Ireland commercial director Edel Kinane said the delivery app was pleased to expand on its offering to customers. Krispy Kreme chief marketing officer Emma Colquhoun said the partnership was in response to the high demand experienced by the company.