Deliveroo has set up a service to identify struggling or already closed restaurants and revive them by offering them a place in its delivery only kitchens.
The Restaurant Rescue Team will pinpoint failing restaurants which it thinks will perform well in an area where an Editions delivery only kitchen site is based, and provide help with branding, menu development and pricing strategies.
For a limited period, the restaurants who enter Editions through the Rescue Team will also receive support which is not available to other restaurants on the platform, such as preferential commission rates, and Deliveroo will cover the costs of rent, equipment, maintenance, utilities, food safety setup and audit costs.
Deliveroo has helped a number of restaurants already via the scheme, including Waleema, a modern Lebanese restaurant opened by Fadi Chafa. Waleema moved to Deliveroo Editions in November 2017 after the costs of running the restaurant became too much and it was forced to close. Since then, Fadi has been able to continue his business and trial new dishes, without the risks and capital costs of opening a restaurant. As a result, Waleema has expanded to multiple locations, including Deliveroo's Whitechapel and Battersea Editions sites, creating new jobs for local chefs in the process.
Fadi comments: "Editions minimised risk and provided a smoother entry into the market. Editions saved Waleema at a vital time. This is a great lifeline to any restaurant and an opportunity we would encourage people to take up.”
This new initiative comes as the restaurant industry has faced a number of economic challenges in recent years, which have put a strain on their finances, from rising business rates to increased food and labour costs. In a highly competitive market, this means that even the most popular restaurants and well-established brands are running into financial difficulties. Indeed, the number of restaurants becoming insolvent rose by a third in 2018.
Deliveroo will focus its efforts initially in London and then expand to other areas of the UK.