Deliveroo begins UK trial of subscription service for restaurant food delivery

Restaurant food delivery company Deliveroo has begun trialing a subscription service in the U.K. — presumably targeted at its most frequent and loyal customers.

Dubbed ‘Deliveroo Plus’ and only available to existing customers, the new option sees Deliveroo waive its £2.50 per delivery fee in favour of a subscription costing £8.99 per month or £89 per year. The food itself, of course, is not included.

The service is initially rolling out in the cities of Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Brighton, and York. The first batch of subscribers will get two months for free.

Dan Warne, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Deliveroo comments in a statement: “Ordering great food from great restaurants on Deliveroo is an increasingly big part of many people’s daily lives, and Deliveroo Plus is all about rewarding them. This new subscription service gives our customers an even better experience and even better value for money when they order with us.”

As Warne’s statement acknowledges, the new subscription service is undoubtedly designed to make Deliveroo even more sticky than it already is. The additional pricing model also serves as a reminder that a significant portion of the company’s revenue is based on the percentage cut it takes on each basket not on the price it charges consumers for delivery.

Meanwhile, the tentative launch of Deliveroo Plus borrows a little from the Amazon playbook. The e-commerce giant has a restaurant food delivery service of its own called Amazon Restaurants, which recently came to the U.K. following a U.S. launch, and is available to Amazon Prime subscribers only. Postmates in the U.S. also has a subscription version of its food delivery service, so the move is not without precedent.

In other Deliveroo news this week, the company announced that it is planning to add 300 new tech jobs to work at its London HQ. It already has a 125-strong engineering and product team, and says it is aggressively hiring software engineers, research scientists, product managers, user researchers, designers, and data analysts. It takes a lot of tech to deliver you a curry on a Friday night, apparently.