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Deliveroo's delivery-only kitchens to help firms launch without restaurants

Deliveroo is serving up 1,000 new jobs at 30 new delivery-only kitchens across the UK.

The fast-rising technology firm said the platform will cater to more than 200 restaurants and allow businesses to target new areas of the country without setting up a high-street site.

The operation, called Deliveroo Editions, will hand restaurants the infrastructure needed to launch a delivery-only menu, including kitchens, marketing support and delivery riders.

Chief executive Will Shu said it offered a cheaper way to sell food than setting up a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

He said: "By drawing on the unique technology that motors Deliveroo, we are able to identify gaps in the market and curate bespoke restaurant selections, meaning more choice for customers and the chance for our partners to scale. This is the biggest development in the market since Deliveroo first launched."

"If you think that it costs £500,000 to £1 million to put up a full-service restaurant, for them to operate one of these (delivery-only) restaurants, it is a fraction of that - the cost is much lower."

The restaurant delivery firm said the editions platform will involve setting up a series of mobile kitchens or buying a larger site, such as a warehouse.

The tech firm will also handle planning permission for the sites, meaning businesses could have an operation up-and-running within four weeks, instead of waiting six months to launch a standalone restaurant.

It said each agreement would be made on a case-by-case basis, with either Deliveroo or the restaurant putting forward the capital.

The nationwide launch follows London trials in Camberwell, Battersea, Dulwich and Canary Wharf. It plans to follow the UK roll-out with an international expansion.

It comes after Deliveroo sent a letter to the Government's Work and Pensions Committee, pledging to remove contract clauses that require couriers to agree that they are not Deliveroo workers and that they will not challenge their self-employment status in court.

The firm is also facing potential legal action from a group of Deliveroo riders who want to claim better employment rights, such as the minimum wage, sick pay and holiday pay.

Mr Shu said: "On the contracts, what we are doing is aligning the contracts with operational reality.

"We are really proud of the flexibility that we offer. In London, the average rider earns £10 an hour, which is more than the living wage, but they want flexibility around their working.

"We want to work with Government, maintaining flexibility but also offering entitlements. What that looks like in the future is hard to say."

Deliveroo, which employs more than 30,000 riders and works with 20,000 restaurants, is planning to move to new headquarters in London's Cannon Street in the summer.

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