In London, Food Arrives on Cycles at Doorsteps

A Deliveroo rider whether on a normal cycle or motorcycle earns roughly £30 for a three-hour shift.

Published: 02nd April 2016 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2016 10:48 AM   |  A+A-

In London, Food

A young cyclist on his way to deliver food

Like they say “variety is the spice of life”, new concepts and technological advances keep us persistently getting goose bumps. Uber taxi operations have been a genuine surprise and enormously beneficial to people all over the world. Friendly drivers, clean cars, instantaneous service and sensible fares make Uber a clear winner and popular with the young people. As a result, London’s famous black cabs confront a much-deserved knock on effect for they were ridiculously expensive and royally arrogant.

Who wouldn’t enjoy a cycle ride around London? On my little Brompton, I cherish short trips cutting past long lines of traffic, racing to reach green lights, and feeling the cold breeze on my face as I wipe away my wet eyes. Nonetheless cycling for a living may not be a great fun in extreme weather conditions, but there comes a group of young cyclists with kangaroo trademarked back packs, rising away through the crowded streets of London. They are a food delivery brand called Deliveroo, just like Uber cabs.

In London.jpgFast food expert Mark Mcglynn says, “Easy assembled meals are popular today as the industry is fast geared up to modern food habits of people.” So takeaway meals are gaining a new facelift. In the past, takeaway restaurants had less importance compared to proper restaurants. Even government licensing agencies categorise them as eateries without the need for skilled chefs. As sponsors for employing overseas professionals, they instruct traders not to do takeaway food and they assume you don’t need an expert to make those meals.

In 2013, Will Shu set up this online food delivery business with just three restaurants. Since then he has expanded across 35 cities in the UK and to 25 other countries. In London alone, there are 1,500 cyclists at work and the number grows each day. They claim 25 per cent business growth every month and Deliveroo managed to raise around £100 million to develop worldwide. Grinning with excitement Shu says, “People are fundamentally lazy and given the opportunity to be lazier, they will be.”

A Deliveroo rider whether on a normal cycle or motorcycle earns roughly £30 for a three-hour shift at a relaxed and flexible job atmosphere. The company’s formula is simple: offer customers easy access to top-end restaurants and sign up a convoy of passionate young guys to deliver their meals at home or office desk. Though there are few completions for Deliveroo, Shu thinks they are one step ahead in terms of their strong ties with restaurants and services to customers.

There was a time when pizza, Chinese and Indian restaurants existed in places like Stoke Newington and survived just doing home deliveries. They offered enormous discounts to customers and perhaps quality never mattered for takeaway food. A group of part-time drivers used to hang around waiting for phone calls to pick up orders from restaurants and made extra cash in the evenings. Popular eating places used to turn down requests to deliver, since it didn’t look good on their reputation as quality restaurants. But today the situation is different as Deliveroo takes initiative to include the best in their list of restaurants and their brilliant popularity is convincing everyone.

Companies like Deliveroo have brought a new vigour and excitement in this business. It’s wonderful to see a fleet of kangaroo bikes spearheading evening traffic and carrying dinners to people from their favourite restaurants. Signing with Deliveroo, restaurants have smaller risks and less overhead on takeaway business, in effect they outsource to Deliveroo for a percentage of the order value.

As the pedal power of Deliveroo keeps feeding thousands, Shu says: “We want to change the way people think about their choice of meals and we will get it wherever they want us to deliver.”

The author is a London-based restaurateur who owns the Rasa chain of restaurants


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