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U.K. Restaurant Delivery Is Worth an Astonishing £8.1 Billion

London’s market continues to grow, with Just Eat leading the pack

Deliveroo’s new restaurant delivery service fee could bank the London company £11 million a year Ben McMahon/for Eater London

The U.K. restaurant delivery market is now worth £8.1 billion, according to research from MCA Insight. The new figure represents a 13.4 percent growth on 2017, with 90 percent of London’s restaurant delivery operators seeing increased awareness in recognition tests.

Uber Eats — which launched in London in 2016 — has gained 24.2 percentage points on its awareness score, with Just Eat up 12.5 percentage points. The latter made a play for restaurants benefitting from Deliveroo’s purported business boosting add-ons last year. While Deliveroo’s awareness has not grown significantly, this as much a condition of its market ubiquity as any perceived loss of interest — perhaps not aided by scrutiny over its relationship with riders. An acquisition by Uber Eats was mooted last year, but it is understood that the deal was never a serious proposition.

MCA also reports that the capital’s delivery market is so competitive that Deliveroo and Domino’s have both lost market share, with Just Eat bucking the trend to grow its share by 11 percent to 28 percent. This is likely bolstered by acquiring Hungry House for £200 million, but shouldn’t be discredited as an indicator of delivery tendencies — especially when the most ordered dish on Deliveroo in the U.K. is still a Five Guys burger.

Steve Gotham, MCA’s director of insight, said: “Our research makes it difficult to disagree that foodservice delivery is anything other than a disruptive and cannibalising force that is showing no signs of slowing ... For already embattled operators, this will not be an appetising raising of the competitive bar.”

With uncertainty over Brexit likely to throttle restaurants’ strategies over at least the first quarter of 2019, restaurant delivery’s double-edged sword as a useful addition and a potentially scuppering distraction is unlikely to be blunted.