Amazon Restaurants takes food delivery market by storm

A photo taken on April 11, 2015 in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, shows a computer screen displaying the website of the Amazon electronic commerce company.  AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Online shopping giant Amazon today revealed it will take on the likes of Deliveroo by getting into the UK food delivery market with a new business called ‘Amazon Restaurants’.

The service will initially be available in selected London postcodes and will see the company offer food via the Prime Now app from a series of major restaurant groups that it has partnered with. This includes Strada, Comptoir Libanais, Pod, Tossed, Gastronomica and Planet Hollywood, as well as renowned Asian fusion specialists Crazy Bear and Michelin star Benares.

Amazon said it will offer customers “transparent pricing” — with no menu mark-ups or hidden service fees.

Delivery on all orders is free for Prime members with a minimum order of £15. If a customer finds a restaurant item that is priced higher than the regularly-priced item on the restaurant’s current online menu within 24 hours of placing the order, Amazon will refund the customer the price of the item.

Amazon Prime members will be asked to download the Prime Now app and enter their postcode to see if restaurant delivery is available in their area. In postcodes where the restaurant delivery service is available, customers will see Amazon Restaurants on the home page.

Customers can view participating restaurants, browse menus, place orders and track the status of their delivery in real time. Once orders are placed, delivery drivers pick up and deliver the food in an hour or less.

“London offers some of the best cuisine from around the world, so we’re delighted that Amazon Prime customers can now enjoy food from their favourite restaurants via Amazon’s ultra-fast Prime Now service,” said Al Wilkinson, UK head of Amazon Restaurants.

“Based on our own research into what is important to consumers in food delivery, our team have hand-picked a selection of the best quality local restaurants in London. We’re excited to be helping many of these small businesses start offering home delivery for the very first time.”

London locations in which Amazon will deliver food include the City, West End, Westminster, Pimlico and Victoria in central London; Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Bow, Clapton, and Homerton in the east; Islington, Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill in the north; Kensington and Chelsea in the west; and Southwark, Lambeth, Vauxhall and Kennington in south London, with plans to expand further.

Amazon Restaurants delivery via Prime Now first launched in Seattle in September last year, and has quickly rolled out to a number of other major American cities.

Delivery is promised within an hour of the order being placed through the Prime Now app, with the average delivery time taking less than 45 minutes.

Daniel Creedon, head chef and manager at London restaurant Archipelago, which is working with Amazon, said that home delivery was something that it has long considered but hasn’t been confident that the food would arrive in best condition.

“We believe with Amazon’s experience and success in the US and their understanding of logistics here in London, they are perfectly placed to deliver a service which will ensure our food reaches our customers as it should. With Amazon’s customer focus we feel confident that they will join us in doing everything we can to give our customers an excellent service that will keep them coming back.”

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