London-born burger chain MEATliquor has confirmed that it stopped working with Deliveroo Editions — the kitchen-only ‘restaurant’ sites operated at 10 London locations by the food delivery giant across the city. Although Deliveroo has been keen to stress the benefits Editions kitchens offer to operators — reduced overheads, increased productivity, marketing spend, and locations in areas of high demand — MEATliquor’s decision to part ways with the initiative is symptomatic of some of the potential challenges associated with the partnership.
Eater understands that MEATliquor stopped both working with Editions sites in Battersea and Canary Wharf in November last year. It is thought that it did not work for the product operationally. However, it has been confirmed that MEATliquor’s 11 restaurants were still working with Deliveroo, where the brand has complete operational control and can manage order flow and delivery times more effectively.
Other Deliveroo Editions partners have told Eater that some of the operational issues arise because of the lack of control Deliveroo has over its drivers (who are not employees but contractors) and certain conditions (such as cold or wet weather) which can affect their numbers and availability. Elsewhere, a number of users have complained to Eater that the dishes ordered via Editions are a pale imitation of the version found in the same brand’s restaurants.
Deliveroo Editions launched in April 2017 with sites in Camberwell, Dulwich, Canary Wharf and Battersea “using unique technology and data to identify areas where specific cuisines are missing.” After receiving £284 million of fresh investment in September last year the company announced that the growth of its Editions sites was a priority; it was coupled with the confirmation of six new locations — in Whitechapel, Islington, Crouch End, Swiss Cottage, Bermondsey and Wimbledon.
One Editions partner stressed to Eater that the operations have improved as the number of the sites has increased. As Deliveroo continues to expand its infrastructure, it is clear that in what is a relatively new (and increasingly competitive) sector of the industry, issues remain unresolved.