Wednesday 12 June 2019 8:45 am

DEBATE: Should shut down Deliveroo's delivery-only kitchens?

Paula Higgins is chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.
Paul Yewman
Paul Yewman is chief executive of PostTag.

Are local councils right to shut down delivery-only kitchens operated by Deliveroo? One such “dark kitchen” is under investigation in Swiss Cottage.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, says YES.

If councils find that Deliveroo is operating illegally in particular locations and bypassing planning rules, they are right to shut down these so-called dark kitchens.

Planning laws exist to protect the local community and clearly need to adapt to emerging trends.

Although the HomeOwners Alliance is loathe to stifle the entrepreneurial spirit of Deliveroo, a location that was originally set aside for light industrial use may not be appropriate given the knock-on effect of the rise in scooter traffic, which is causing a disturbance to local residents.

We appreciate Deliveroo’s desire to innovate while keeping costs down, but it must be frustrating and potentially dangerous living in a location where scooters congregate, speed by, and cause noise disturbance.  

This must be particularly disruptive in the evenings for residents with young children or those who need to get up early for work. We recommend that people think hard before buying in such a location.  

Read more: Amazon takes a bite out of Deliveroo

Paul Yewman, chief executive of PostTag, says NO.

With more people grabbing their smartphones instead of facing the kitchen, demand for online takeaway food shows no sign of slowing down. Customers now expect that they can order any meal on an app for free – or relatively cheap – and it’s putting pressure on the industry to keep up.  

Efficiency is key, and the sector must adapt to feed the masses. Deliveroo has jumped on this, creating satellite kitchens to house several delivery-only restaurants under one roof to boost productivity and ensure that your food arrives piping hot. These kitchens, called Deliveroo Editions, are also helping to prop up communities. They create thousands of local jobs, while giving restaurants who can’t afford drivers a chance to enter the delivery market and widen their customer base.  

This next stage of delivery is the future, yet councils across the UK are hampering progress with red tape.