Deliveroo on its bike in Belfast to bring restaurant fare to your door
An online food firm promising to deliver high-end restaurant fare within 30 minutes is creating 50 jobs as it launches in Belfast.
Deliveroo will use riders on bicycles and motorcycles to deliver meals to customers within a 2.6km radius of the restaurant.
The Dublin-based group promises clients that the ordered meals will be in transit for less than eight minutes before delivery.
Deliveroo's launch into Belfast city centre today is its first move into Northern Ireland, following a rollout in Dublin, Cork and Galway within the last 10 months.
Just Eat plc - the online food delivery company that bought over Newry-founded Nifty Nosh last November - is thought to be the only active company in the same market in Belfast.
But Deliveroo insisted it has little concern about competition. Oliver Dewhurst, the firm's general manager in Ireland, said: "Just Eat has been present in every market that we opened in, for instance in Dublin and in Cork, but we have grown 30% month on month since April, 2015 when we launched in Ireland.
"With our app, we offer a range of high-end restaurants that normally don't do delivery and customers can see at a glance when their order has been received by the restaurant, when it has been despatched, and when it is close to delivery. We have a few new exciting restaurant partners coming on at the beginning of March and we will be continuously adding four to five new restaurants each week over the foreseeable future."
Around a dozen city centre independent or chain restaurants based in or around the Victoria Square centre have already signed up to the Deliveroo service. Those include chains Wagamama, Kua 'Aina, Prezzo and YO!Sushi, which all have premises in Victoria Square.
And Lisburn Road-based Italian Amici, as well as Indian restaurant Archana, are also on its books.
It has launched with an initial nine contracted 'drivers' but will recruit a total of 50.
"The company said the move is part of its $100m (£71m) international expansion phase"
Patrick Gray, owner of burger restaurant Kua 'Aina, said that it made "perfect sense" for his restaurant to partner with Deliveroo. "This opportunity allows us to extend our ability to deliver high-quality food to our customers beyond our restaurant, which helps us increase revenue and continue to grow our customer base without having to change a single element of our operation," explained Mr Gray.