Deliveroo “Pop-ups” beta testing initiative gives street food vendors access to commercial kitchens and home delivery

Deliveroo is giving selected early-stage street-food vendors access to its professional kitchens and delivery network for an initial 12 week trial.

A new “Pop-ups” initiative, from Deliveroo gives street food start-up vendors access to commercial cooking facilities through its Canary Wharf based “Editions” kitchen as well as access to its delivery network

Billed as a startup incubator, Pop-ups allows a rotating roster of London street food vendors take up 12-week residencies and will eventually roll out to new Editions kitchens nationwide. The aim, Deliveroo says, is to help participants “reach thousands of new customers”, and give them the chance to “grow [their] business and potentially [become] a permanent presence on Deliveroo Editions”.

The first four participants though are not what most would regard as startups although they are in early stage development: SpiceBox is a “plant-powered” Indian brand that has seen considerable success at their KERB Camden debut; Vegan Matcha Burger Bar is said the be the only wholly vegan brand on Deliveroo and was founded by a Michelin-trained chef and his personal trainer; Kabab, is an established Shoreditch high-end Mediterranean kebab brand focused on organic produce and vibrant flavours; and SuBuSake, is also well know to Londoners for serving a fusion of poké-style salads of Japanese-inspired ingredients comprising layers of sushi rice, fresh sashimi, vegetables, toppings and sauce

Deliveroo says it hopes the Pop-Ups initiative will assist expanding vendors to transition their business to become “delivery-only” restaurants.

‘Opening a new restaurant or expanding can require a capital investment of £250,000 upfront” says Deliveroo foundr Will Shu.

‘Coupled with a lack of suitable restaurant sites across London and the inherent risks of scaling up, too many brands serving great food are never able to expand to the next level.

‘Editions ‘Pop-ups’ wants to give street stalls the same opportunity to expand without the initial risk of setting up on the high street. Deliveroo is using its scale and expertise to help budding new chefs reach new customers, improve their menus and use top of the range kitchens.’

The opportunity for street food vendors to use Deliveroo as a brand launchpad certainly has potential for brands looking to expand, also allowing them to target any bricks and mortar expansion in neighbourhoods where they are already established and known or where the concept has already been shown to work.

Meanwhile the 12 week “beta testing” programme clearly offers Deliveroo the opportunity to try out vendors and develop new innovative concepts without making an early commitment to unproven vendors with long term partnerships which may fail.

‘Our aim behind Pop-ups is simple,’ says Will Shu. ‘To allow our customers to get amazing street food, delivered.

‘Starting a business is tough but Deliveroo will be able to help these talented new chefs showcase great food over the 12 weeks they are with this, and hopefully allow some of these fantastic brands become regular features on our Editions range.’

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