Hong Kong – Deliveroo has invested heavily in the emerging delivery-only kitchen space, making it the global leader in the field. The brand faced criticism for initially setting up so-called ‘dark kitchens’ under the name Deliveroo Editions to cater for restaurants seeking to expand without the price tag attached to high-street properties. Shipping container-like sheds fitted out with industrial kitchen equipment equalled unfavourable working conditions for chefs. ‘The boxes have no windows and many of the chefs work with the doors open, through which they can be seen stirring huge pans or flipping burgers,’ wrote Sarah Butler for The Guardian in 2017. Consumers, though, were none the wiser. All they were doing was clicking a button for their favourite hamburger to turn up at their door while picturing the spaces they frequented before they could order from the comfort of their couch.
Deliveroo’s latest breed of delivery-driven concepts rises from the underbelly to the high street, signalling that the brand wants more bricks-and-mortar presence in the field – a presence that’s subject to less scrutiny than the dark kitchens mentioned in The Guardian, many of which are doubtless still in operation. Interestingly, pick-up seems to be a strong consideration, too, suggesting a bid to connect with its clientele through such spaces.