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Twitter/Deliveroo Dublin
the hungry games

You are about to get a whole lot more choice when you order takeaway*

*But only in a few parts of Dublin to start with.

TAKEAWAY FOOD FANS can choose from a string of new “upmarket” offerings – if they’re fortune enough to live in select parts of Dublin.

Food-delivery service Deliveroo has quietly been rolling out in the first territory outside its native UK over the past few weeks ahead of an official launch today.

The major difference between it and more-established rival, Just Eat, will be that the newcomer employs its own drivers – opening up the market to restaurants without in-house delivery services.

Deliveroo country manager Anis Harb told the traditional food delivery model was “more of a marketplace”, but that meant you tended to end up with a “downmarket” selection of outlets to choose from.

“You also have no transparency and control over the delivery time … and we are more selective about the restaurants we choose,” he said.

However the trade-off for that selectivity will be the company’s small delivery area, at least to start with. It will only serve Dublin’s affluent neighbourhoods immediately south of the Liffey – Dublin 2, 4 and 6 – although by summer it aims to have spread its footprint to areas like Dún Laoghaire and Dundrum.

Before the end of the year, other cities such as Cork should be added to the list.

In comparison, Just Eat operates nationwide and has about 1,600 restaurants and takeaways on its books. It clocked up over 2 million orders in the Republic last year, a 58% increase on 2013.

Another site,, recently announced it was launching in May as a direct rival to Just Eat.

Deliveroo said it averages a 32-minute turnaround time from placing an order to the food arriving on your doorstep. This is partially because it operates a tight, 2.4km radius within which customers can order from restaurants.

Consumers pay €3 for the delivery, but the real money for the company comes from restaurants’ registers in the shape of a 30% commission on their take from orders.

However that doesn’t appear to have deterred food businesses from signing up, with over 40 – including names like Gourmet Burger Kitchen, the Little Ass Burrito Bar and Beluccis – already on board.

The economics for the restaurants work because you are not asking them to hire extra staff or pay any more rent – all they need is extra kitchen capacity,” Harb said.

A ‘billion-dollar startup’

Since it was founded in February 2013, Deliveroo has raised €25 million in funding – including €22 million in the latest round from investors including Irish entrepreneur Dylan Collins’ Hoxton Ventures.

SFA Annual Conferences Dylan Collins Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The company, which is also due to roll out services in Berlin and Paris soon, was recently named as one of Forbes magazine’s next 25 “billion-dollar startups” – and Collins told the figure was a “valuation that we are targeting”.

It has already reportedly been priced at over $100 million and claims a customer base of around 100,000 in London and other regional UK cities where it operates.

Rather than competing directly with services like JustEat, Collins said Deliveroo was “creating a new segment of the market”.

“Look at when Uber came along – that notion of paying a private driver is something that people hadn’t even considered,” he said.

If you look anywhere in the world, we see a trend towards efficiency and people wanting things to come to them. When you make something like this available – and easily available – to people, they start to spend money on it”.

READ: An 8-year-old girl makes €118,000 a month making baking videos for YouTube >

READ: This man’s company just raised millions in funding – so he’s hiring 50 staff >

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