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Deliveroo’s healthy way for restaurants to reach new customers through legacy kitchens

Tom Peters, global director of health

Deliveroo pledged £1m earlier this year to develop healthier takeaway brands and support restaurants in areas such as menu design to drive the trend. The investment includes providing a consultancy service for restaurant partners to help them successfully develop their own healthy menus and meals. So how will it be rolled out and will restaurant partners have to adapt their current kitchen model? FEJ’s Sam Lewis caught up with Tom Peters, global director of health at Deliveroo, to get more answers.

Deliveroo is pledging to develop a new generation of nutritious, delivery-only brands for restaurant partners to operate from their kitchens. How do you know if a kitchen is properly equipped for the task? And will it necessitate an updated kitchen?

Our delivery-only brands operate from existing kitchens. This means that restaurants can reach new customers but without the costs and risk associated with starting an entirely new venture, which would traditionally entail the cost of setting up new premises on the high street.

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What’s the primary factor in making sure that you get the approach right?

Simplicity is the key to success so we ensure that any changes are kept to an absolute minimum. For example, new brands are adapted to the existing equipment and only small changes are needed. Our team of experts works closely with our restaurant partners to evaluate their current operations and then advise on the most appropriate operation.

How does Deliveroo decide on what brands are appropriate and if they will work in a kitchen?

In order to create a brand from scratch we first identify the cuisine type that is in demand. Then we need to understand what equipment and ingredients are needed. Once we have this information, then we can start to create the recipes. The menu is bespoke to each restaurant partner and can be in addition to or an update of an existing menu.

Could these Deliveroo-owned brands be viewed as a way for the company to expand without buying or renting its own property? What do restaurants stand to gain?

Not at all. We don’t merchandise or identify these brands as Deliveroo brands. This is about supporting our restaurant partners to expand and unlock a new selection of customers and improve their growth and profitability with as little resource as necessary. Delivery-only brands launched with Deliveroo’s support achieve nearly 90% more revenue each week.

This is about supporting our restaurant partners to expand and unlock a new selection of customers”

You have launched a consultancy service as part of your healthy eating investment. What does that entail?

The consultancy service is aimed at helping our restaurant partners create their own healthier menus and meals, and was launched in January 2020. Deliveroo will work closely with the restaurants to help them develop their own healthy meals and menus.

This entails nutritionist support with menu design, ingredient sourcing, staff training, branding and marketing investment. It is currently available to any of our 35,000 restaurant partners in the UK, though the ambition is to expand into other markets.

How have trials gone so far?

Our first healthy menu, in partnership with Barburrito, is going really well. The ‘RhiNourish Bowl’ designed by registered nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert is packed with delicious ingredients, including fresh spinach, rainbow slaw, avocado and omega seeds and is incredibly popular with our customers. It is available on Deliveroo and we will be announcing further partnerships throughout 2020.

What was the process for designing the new menu and what value did Deliveroo add to the process that Barburrito couldn’t have achieved on its own?

Deliveroo’s restaurant partners are able to make use of Deliveroo’s unique data science and insights to identify suitable cuisines, dishes and price points. We then work with our partners to provide nutritionist support with menu design, ingredient sourcing, staff training, branding and marketing investment.

The service reduces the risk for restaurant partners as the healthy options will reflect local consumer demand and trends. Partners can have increased confidence these menus and dishes will result in stronger business growth.

Healthy orders

The number of healthy orders on Deliveroo has risen by 181% over the past three years, with 70% of people saying they want to see an increase of healthy options on food delivery apps.

The desire for healthy choices is particularly prevalent among young people, with 90% of the 18-24-year-old age group saying they would buy food for delivery more regularly if there was a wider selection of healthy meals.

Deliveroo reached a milestone of 4,000 healthy restaurants on the Deliveroo platform last year — an increase of 257% over the past three years.

It has created a healthy ‘shortcut’ on its platform, which makes it easier for customers to find the healthy food they want.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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