Food delivery service Deliveroo has admitted that it was surprised at how popular its offering has been in Paris.
The London startup, which has raised $200 million (£132 million) in total, admitted that it wasn’t sure how well Deliveroo would be received by Parisians, who are well-known for their love of fine dining.
Despite the concerns, business is going very well in the French capital, according to Deliveroo CEO Will Shu.
Deliveroo allows people to get premium food delivered to their home or office via a person on a bicycle or a motorbike. Customers pay the same prices that they would in a restaurant, plus an additional £2.50 delivery charge.
Fred Destin, a venture capitalist at Accel Partners and a Deliveroo board member, said Paris is full of foodies. “We were convinced some cities wouldn’t work,” he said, referring to Paris in particular. “People like to eat out and cook but Paris is one of our best cities because it’s so dense.”
Shu added that every city requires small tweaks: “For example, Hong Kong is very hilly. Singapore has wide streets and if you make a wrong turn you’re out of luck.”
The restaurants that Deliveroo teams up with tend not to offer their own delivery services. In London, the startup has partnered with more 5,000 restaurants, including the likes of Dishoom, Ping Pong, Dirty Burger, and even Michelin-starred Trishna.
The idea for Deliveroo came about after Shu transferred from Morgan Stanley’s office in New York to the investment bank’s Canary Wharf office. Upon arriving in London, Shu said he quickly realised that there wasn’t much on offer by the way of restaurant deliveries compared to New York. A few years after arriving in the UK, online delivery services started to become popular, but Shu said the quality of the food being delivered was often relatively poor, adding that it would often take too long to arrive.
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