Deliveroo has announced that they will open six new sites to accommodate their so-called ‘dark kitchens’ — restaurant-staffed kitchens without dining rooms, serviced entirely by Deliveroo riders. The new locations include: Whitechapel, Islington, Crouch End, Swiss Cottage, Bermondsey and Wimbledon
Among the London restaurant partners to take space in the new sites are MEATLiquor, Ahi Poke and Busaba. Deliveroo says the 49 Deliveroo-only kitchen expansion will create 150 restaurant jobs in the capital and “increase work available for [delivery] riders.”
Deliveroo Editions launched in April with sites in Camberwell, Dulwich, Canary Wharf and Battersea “using unique technology and data to identify areas where specific cuisines are missing.” Restaurant partners are hand-picked to occupy the kitchens inside repurposed shipping containers — they are then provided with the infrastructure, including bespoke kitchens, that allows them to serve delivery-only menus which meet local market demand.
Sites will be unveiled in Whitechapel, Islington, Crouch End, Swiss Cottage, Bermondsey and Wimbledon. Deliveroo allege that their operations can dramatically increase the delivery capacity of a restaurant: “By operating through Deliveroo Editions, Busaba will be able to offer premium food delivery to more than 475,000 homes in the capital in the coming weeks.”
They cite other growth success stories. London based Crust Bros. has grown from a pizza stall on Southbank to serving customers across South London from Deliveroo Edition’s site in Camberwell: “After seeing 250% growth to their business in 6 months Crust Bros. have been able to launch their first bricks and mortar site in London.”
Deliveroo’s Vice President and head of Editions, Rohan Pradhan said, “Deliveroo is on a mission to create the best food delivery service in the world, one way we’re achieving this is through Deliveroo Editions.”
Some of London’s most popular restaurants are using the sites to grow their reach and distribution. MEATLiquor, Ahi Poke, Tommi’s Burger Joint, Busaba and Mother Clucker all opening kitchens in at least one of the new sites. It is not yet know how many of the new sites will accommodate JKS Restaurant’s Indian takeaway Motu, but Swiss Cottage and Islington are rumoured. Additionally Lievità, a well-known restaurant from Milan, will open its first two UK kitchens in the Islington and Swiss Cottage sites. It is thought to be the first time an international Deliveroo restaurant has been able to enter the UK through Deliveroo Editions.
Maestro Pizzaiolo Giorgio Caruso from Lievità said, "Lievità has been successfully working with Deliveroo in Italy since 2015. Now Deliveroo Editions will enable our brand a simple and smart route-to-market across cities around the world that are passionate about great food.”
The London expansion follows Deliveroo’s acquisition of Maple, a New York City-based food delivery company in which Dave Chang was an investor. “Maple’s technology and some of their team are now in place to help drive the Deliveroo Editions platform across the globe,” Deliveroo said. Eater NY reported in May, in light of Maple’s closure, that “Some of the Maple team will join Deliveroo operations in London and ‘our technology will be used to help accelerate growth and efficiency across the platform.’”
It is thought, though not yet confirmed, that the new sites will open in phases this year into next.