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Deliveroo launches first shared kitchen in JLT

The company says it will allow restaurants to open risk-free in new areas, whilst cutting down on delivery times

Image Credit: Supplied
Gulf News

DUBAI

Deliveroo, the London-based food delivery service, launched a new kitchen concept in Dubai on Monday, enabling restaurants to share kitchen space, cutting down on delivery time and supplying underserved areas.

The first shared remote kitchen opened over the weekend in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), and amid rising commercial rents and overhead costs, allows restaurants to launch in an underserved area with no upfront business risks.

According to general manager Anis Harb, some restaurants globally have reported close to a 500 per cent increase in their revenues since opening in Deliveroo’s remote kitchens. The delivery has raised $385 million (Dh1.41 billion) to invest in the concept globally, he added.

Deliveroo claims that based on its data and insights, it can identify cuisines missing in an area, predict customer demand, and handpick restaurants that are likely to succeed in that specific area with a delivery-only concept.

The roll-out will see Deliveroo provide restaurant partners with the necessary infrastructure, including bespoke kitchens, local marketing support and delivery drivers.

Harb, who has been in charge of Deliveroo’s operations in the UAE since 2015, says that the JLT kitchen space represents the first of many in Dubai.

“We’re going to try and squeeze in the second one by the end of the year…We’re close,” he said, adding: “And we’re looking at sites three, four, and five, for 2018.”

Harb said that the second location would probably be in the Downtown Dubai area.

“Where it gets really exciting is when you go to places like Arabian Ranches or Sports City, where they have nothing. They’re a clean slate,” the GM said.

Restaurants that are partnered with Deliveroo in this new project, such as Burger and Lobster, Clinton St. Baking Company, and Joga, have set up space in the JLT kitchen rent-free, and are able to reach areas that were previously unserved.

In May, Deliveroo acquired Maple, a New York-based food delivery company that sought to own the entire process of the food cycle, from sourcing, to preparation, to delivery. It has since integrated the company into its operations to improve its remote kitchen operations, which it calls Deliveroo Editions.

Deliveroo claims that entering the supply chain earlier will cut down on delivery times, and allow restaurants to expand to new parts of the city in a cost-effective way.

“Centralised kitchens are the future of food delivery,” Harb told Gulf News previously.

Deliveroo is currently under fire from several local councils in London for its remote kitchens they accuse the company of bypassing planning rules. Residents have also reportedly complained of excessive noise.

The British press reported on Sunday that Deliveroo’s shared kitchen in Camberwell, south London, may be forced to close after the local council said the buzz of delivery vans and mopeds was a nuisance to neighbours and had been set up without planning permission.

Harb said that there would always be some level of friction with the authorities when dealing with disruptive technologies, but added that he felt it was a “solvable” situation.

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