Deliveroo to set up delivery-only kitchen in Katong

Deliveroo delivery man on his motorcycle along Tras Street on Feb 14, 2017.
Deliveroo delivery man on his motorcycle along Tras Street on Feb 14, 2017. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - More food options will be available to Katong residents when food delivery service Deliveroo sets up its new kitchen space in the neighbourhood this weekend.

Chefs from selected restaurants can whip up meals at the "plug and play" kitchen, where Deliveroo provides the equipment and storage facilities, in addition to its fleet of riders for delivery.

This new service, called Deliveroo Editions, expands the range of food available for delivery as customers can only order from restaurants within their vicinity.

It starts with four restaurants, and two more will be added by the end of this month to the Katong site, which houses six kitchens. The four restaurants are Californian-Mexican joint Muchachos at Keong Saik Road, New York-style deli Sacha & Sons at Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road, Greek restaurant Blu Kouzina at Dempsey Road, and Vietnamese eatery Pho Stop (opening end April at Shenton Way).

These restaurants, which were previously not available for Katong residents to order from, were picked based on Deliveroo's market research of which restaurants have fared well so far, and which cuisines are missing from the Katong area, says Deliveroo's general manager Siddharth Shanker, 34.

He adds that there are plans for more kitchen spaces to be set up, and they are targeted for heartland locations in order to expand Deliveroo's reach to customers.

The London-based start-up is rolling out the service in Singapore after "successful trials" in the United Kingdom which resulted in "thousands more deliveries" being made. By the end of this year, Deliveroo Editions will launch in Dubai, the Netherlands, France, Australia and Hong Kong.

This initiative is part of the brand's global expansion plans, after it received a boost of £220 million (S$384 million) in investment last year.

Mr Siddharth says: "The competition (for food delivery) is great for restaurants and we have to constantly innovate. Restaurants can also test out new areas for delivery, and offer new food items and menus for diners."

Pho Stop's owner Bryan Wong says: "We are always looking for new ways to reach customers and have them try our food. With Deliveroo Editions, they take this a step further and allow us to easily make our food available in areas that were beyond our reach before. We can test the Katong market without having to invest in opening up an actual restaurant straight away, which helps us tremendously as an independent restaurant."

Student Emily Oh, 24, who lives in Katong, says: "I used to order from Deliveroo but moved on to other food delivery services partly because of the limited menu options. Now that there are more food choices, I might give Deliveroo another shot. I hope Japanese ramen gets added to the delivery menu."