Deliveroo's continued growth comes at a cost as losses continue to accumulate. The meal delivery company's turnover doubled last year, the losses before taxes rose to 185 million pound (200 million euro). In Belgium, working conditions are currently under investigation.
Turnover more than doubled
"Our growth is matched only by our ambition. We want to become the definitive food company in the world. We invested a lot in innovation, technology, people and restaurants," CEO Will Shu says triumphantly. General manager Benelux Mathieu de Lophem tells us more about that ambition on Thursday at the RetailDetail Food Congress.
It does indeed explain why the meal delivery company’s revenue more than doubled in 2017, as well as why profits seem to be further away than ever. Worldwide, turnover rose 116 % last year to 277 million pound (310 million euro). The European market saw a 99 % turnover growth, while the other markets grew by 207 %. These results feed the rumours of a takeover by Uber.
100 million for kitchens and head office
After Deliveroo invested 106 million pound (almost 120 million euro) in a new head office in London and opened its own (pop-up) kitchens from where the bicycle couriers provide meals, the loss went even deeper to 43 %. In the future the company wants to open more of its own kitchens, so that it will not depend on the supply of existing restaurants and can always provide the right range to the right place. However, the company denies that the new service will compete with the restaurants they work with at the moment.
There are still problems brewing in Europe though: in Belgium, an investigation into the working conditions of the bicycle courier service is ongoing. 200 bike couriers in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent were called for questioning by the Brussels employment auditor as part of a judicial investigation, in which the Belgian court wants to find out to what extent the couriers at Deliveroo are 'falsely self-employed' and whether they violate labour regulations.