Monday 29 June 2020 9:53 am

Deliveroo debuts dine-in feature for reopening restaurants

Deliveroo has today announced a new so-called table service feature, which will help restaurants cater to customers choosing to dine in without breaching social distancing measures.

Available from 15 July, the tool will let customers browse the menu, order and pay at a restaurant via the Deliveroo app.

Deliveroo has said it will not charge the restaurants a commission fee to use the feature when customers dine inside. It is also giving away 25,000 pieces of in-store signage to small restaurants to help them maintain social distancing inside.

Read more: CMA clears Amazon’s £442m Deliveroo stake despite delivery firm’s coronavirus turnaround

The startup said more than 7,000 new restaurants had signed up to its platform since March, as those who were forced to close turned to takeaway delivery to keep business going.

“Thousands of our restaurant partners stayed open during the lockdown to deliver for the NHS and the vulnerable,” said Deliveroo chief executive Will Shu.

“It is now time for the government, consumers, and for Deliveroo to deliver for our restaurants, helping them to survive on the high-street as they reopen for dine-in customers.”

Pubs and restaurants are to be allowed to reopen in England from 4 July, as long as social distancing measures are kept in place.

The move comes after the UK competition watchdog cleared Amazon’s £442m investment in Deliveroo, which saw the e-commerce giant take a 16 per cent stake in the business.

Read more: Competition watchdog moves closer to green light on Amazon and Deliveroo deal

Concerns had previously been raised that should Amazon’s bid be denied, Deliveroo may not survive the coronavirus outbreak.

However the pandemic ended up being more beneficial for the tech firm than first thought, and instead has provided a boost to Deliveroo and its rivals during lockdown.

The rollout of grocery and convenience store delivery has been particularly beneficial, as apps sought to ease the burden on supermarkets to fulfil weekly shop orders from vulnerable people.

“Itsu supports Deliveroo’s latest technology innovation which allows dine in customers to order, pay and be served safely,” said Julian Metcalfe, chief executive and founder of sushi chain Itsu, which is a Deliveroo partner.

“This new service is important for all restaurants, especially during a time when the safety of customers and team members could not be of more importance.”