London-born global restaurant delivery giant Deliveroo has opened its own restaurant — a neighbourhood pizzeria in Swiss Cottage called Pizza Paradiso.
While the Amazon-backed juggernaut has said the reason it wanted to open its own restaurant was to better understand the problems experienced by the restaurant owners it services across London and the world, it’s tempting to think this could be PR spin, when in 2018 making its own food, using robots, and employing riderless vehicles were included in Deliveroo’s strategy and investment proposals.
In January, a Deliveroo spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that it wanted to “understand restaurants’ pain points with the aim of solving them [...] and to do this by having a deep understanding of restaurant owners’ mind-set.”
Well, now that restaurant exists, and only time will tell if it creates more or fewer problems for the restaurants, and especially pizzerias, it purports to help. Deliveroo has confirmed that despite owning and running the restaurant, it has also “onboarded” it to its platform, including charging itself commission.
Paradiso is located just a short walk from Deliveroo’s principal Editions kitchen, the so-called dark or ghost kitchen (restaurant without a dining room) which has revolutionised a restaurant brand’s ability to service a local delivery market.
Business writer Nick Levine, who is local to the restaurant, told Eater London that Pizza Paradiso was comparable to Franco Manca in terms of price and quality, that it aims to get the £6-10 pizzas out within 10 minutes of ordering.
Branding-wise, it certainly seems to have adopted a late-capitalist, pseudo-indie chic — with black branding, industrial fittings, Tolix chairs, and pin-board menus pitching it somewhere between Bleecker, Burger and Beer, and Soho House Group’s chicken shops. A slogan at the base of the menu on the wall reads: “Welcome to Paradiso city where the grass is green and pizza is pretty.” Won’t someone please take us home and save us from the dystopia?
Tuesday 1 March, 9:38 a.m.: This article has been amended to clarify that Deliveroo is charging Pizza Paradiso Deliveroo’s restaurant commission.