Food delivery giant Deliveroo has gone full circle, launching a dine-in food market in Singapore. But don’t worry, the dining experience now involves even less human contact.
Launched last week, the Deliveroo Food Market is a 40-seater eat-in space, with 10 kitchens housing seven restaurant operators, and 11 ‘dining concepts’ up for grabs.
Diners order their meal using touch-screen kiosks, and enter their names for reference. The status of the order appears on a display, and when the meal is ready, it’s placed in one of 12 ‘digital cubbies’ for diners to collect.
The tech aspect of the experience is focused on “making the order and pickup process much more efficient for both customers and restaurants”, Siddharth Shanker, general manager of Deliveroo Singapore, said in a statement.
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“As a company, we are all about food and believe in investing in the latest technology to provide the best experience for all customers, whether they choose to dine in or have food delivered to their doorsteps.”
The new food market is the third iteration of Deliveroo’s Editions concept in Singapore.
In October 2017, the startup launched its first Editions shared ‘super kitchen’ space, allowing partner restaurants to cater to more online orders and to achieve wider reach.
A second, larger kitchen opened in April 2018, with a ‘click-and-collect’ option, and limited dine-in space.
At that time, Deliveroo founder and chief Will Shu said the sites bring “exciting and often totally unique restaurant brands to new local areas”.
The kitchens allow restaurants to expand into new areas without having to have their own premises, he said.
“We want to support new and interesting restaurant brands while making sure people have access to the food they want, whenever and wherever they want it,” Shu added.
“Our super kitchens give restaurant partners new revenue streams, bring new foods to customers’ neighbourhoods and increase the earning potential for riders.”
However, the latest space is the first to focus on dining in, and while diners can still order from the Food Market, it appears to remove part of the role of the gig-economy delivery riders that underpin the business model.
In Australia, Deliveroo launched its Marketplace+ platform in September last year, allowing businesses to use their own drivers, in a bid to stand out against its competitors.
In November, the meal delivery startup announced it was launching 16 new delivery zones in Australia, including entering Hobart, Newcastle and Cairns for the first time.
While Deliveroo is also bolstering its position in Sydney and Melbourne, there’s no word as of yet whether Australia will get its very own interaction-free dining-out experience.