London-based startup and major food delivery player Deliveroo just launched an intriguing new initiative: It's now providing kitchen space for its restaurant partners in an effort to serve more customers, reports TechCrunch.
Called RooBox, the intention of the off-site kitchens is to "[bring] restaurant brands to areas of London that have a large residential population but are currently underserved in terms of available restaurants via the Deliveroo app." Deliveroo specializes in delivery from "premium" restaurants that wouldn't typically offer takeout, including at least one Michelin-starred restaurant.
The company only delivers food within a 2 kilometer (1.25 mile) radius of each restaurant to ensure it arrives hot and fresh, but that means depending on where a customer lives, their options can be limited or even nonexistent. By providing restaurants with equipped kitchens in areas of London that aren't rife with restaurants — or at least, not the kind of restaurants Deliveroo partners with — the company can expand its customer base.
Each RooBox is only being used by one restaurant; those currently taking advantage of the program include a burger restaurant and a sushi bar.
Thanks to hungry investors, Deliveroo's certainly got plenty of cash to fund this venture: It's raised just shy of $200 million in all. The company recently expanded its services to Dublin, Paris, and Berlin, and also intends to expand into the Middle East and Asia.