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Deliveroo Seeks to Get Back On Side With Restaurants

A new rewards scheme to “help restaurants deal with industry challenges” could just be another data play by the delivery giant

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Restaurant delivery giant, Deliveroo, has launched a restaurant rewards (“roo-wards”) scheme which it says is designed to “help restaurants deal with industry challenges.” The scheme specifically says it seeks to “help restaurants cut energy bills, reduce recruitment costs and offer staff perks.” It’s a move towards reframing Deliveroo as friend of the industry following last month’s revelation that its future plans would deem it anything but.

The program centres on a newly-launched “support site” for restaurants which gives businesses and their staff access to negotiated discounts with partner providers, much like other staff incentive providers, though specifically tailored to the industry. Deliveroo, it says, wants to relieve some stress, and help restaurants focus on the good stuff: “expansion” and “new menu items.”

Deliveroo is apparently looking to diversify its offering to partner restaurants, and by extension its revenue streams: just as other “perks” providers generate income through referring companies’ employees to certain cinemas, gyms, or service providers, so too will Deliveroo benefit financially from providing other companies — an energy provider, a wifi hotspot provider, a “business rates specialist”, a food safety training provider, and more — direct access to its formidable pool of “partner” restaurants.

At a time when restaurants have seen costs increase across their industry, and many are struggling to recruit and retain staff, Deliveroo has positioned itself to use its scale to negotiate favourable rates and discounts to benefit the wide range of restaurant it works with.

Offers available to 10,000 of Deliveroo’s restaurant partners include:

  • Up to 5 percent off green energy bills negotiated and waived broker fees
  • Up to 28 percent discounts on job advertisement boards, reduced fees for using temps and preferential rates for specialist recruitment firms
  • Up to 10 percent off printing services, restaurant wifi discount and discounts in areas such as business rate reviews

Referring specifically to its recruitment perk, Deliveroo says that “many restaurants are concerned about staff retention” and, citing an Institute of Hospitality survey from 2017, claims 93 percent of restaurateurs already struggle to recruit new staff and a quarter have seen an increase in staff turnover. The company, via its own surveyof its restaurant partners has revealed that “a shortage of labour [is] the biggest single barrier to business growth.”

A core element of this new scheme, then is an employee perks scheme, provided by WRKIT to employees of “exclusive” Deliveroo partner restaurants only, akin to those offered by larger corporate employers.

Dan Warne, Deliveroo UK’s managing director, said of the initiative:

“Deliveroo is passionate about food and we therefore want to help great restaurants to grow. We have been working with restaurants to understand what would help their businesses and we are proud to announce a package of support that will cut their day-to-day costs, meaning they can focus on what matters: producing amazing food.

Deliveroo is all about bringing amazing food to customers, whenever and wherever they want it. By helping restaurants we will be able to deliver even more new and exciting meals to people.”

It’s worth remembering, however, that nothing comes for free, and the more one company can offer a pool of others, the more it stands to reap the benefits too. Deliveroo, who has made clear its intentions to revolutionise the way people eat, and aim to reduce the cost of producing and delivering a meal to as low as £2, stands to benefit hugely from any resultant referrals stimulated — and data collected — by the “roo-wards” scheme. Deliveroo’s executives already know about end users’ dining habits, now it appears the company is looking to learn exactly what it takes for a restaurant to service those needs.

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