Deliveroo opens up POS integration for restaurant partners via an API

Restaurant food delivery startup Deliveroo is opening up Point of Sale (POS) integrations to restaurant partners, via an API and developer portal, after trialling the approach this spring and finding appetite for uptake.

The integration is intended to free up front-of-house staff from having to manually input Deliveroo food orders into the restaurant’s sales system.

A Deliveroo spokesman told us that one major chain had been having to assign a single member of staff at peak times to just “sit there and type in the orders”, thereby reducing the number of staff who could attend to customers in the restaurant at a busy time.

Order inputting also isn’t necessarily popular with staff, given there’s no direct opportunity for tips. Automating the task certainly seems a no brainer.

Deliveroo claims initial tests¬†show the integration cuts order processing time from ~2.5 mins to ~30 sec. It also reckons¬†POS companies and “tech savvy restaurants” can complete the integration in two weeks.

“We weren’t sure how many people were going to adopt it — now we can see it’s clearly taken off and is working supporting restaurants,” said the spokesman.

So far around 500 restaurant sites are using integration, having joined during the trial, along with 25 POS companies that are plugging into its API. And Deliveroo says it expects thousands to be doing so by the end of the year.

A “couple of hundred” restaurants are joining each month, the spokesman added.

He said Deliveroo opted to go for an API approach — and rely on restaurants to integrate its order system into their sales systems — because of how diverse the POS market is.

“At a European level it’s crazy how many different types of POS companies there are. So from our perspective, rather than trying to produce our own system which worked with every single one it was best to design a system where they were able to use an API of ours and integrate from their system,” the spokesman told us.

Deliveroo now operates in 12 markets, with eight in Europe and four further afield. And so far POS integrations have been achieved with restaurants in the UK, France, Belgium and Spain — with the UK, where it has with more than 10,000 restaurant partners, being the most “advanced” so far.

The spokesman said it is also working on rolling out integrations to all other markets “in coming months”.

“There are still some places where this isn’t going to work. And this is where firms tend to use middleware companies. And we still are working with a middleware company for places where the direct integration isn’t going to work,” he added.

“But in terms of a principal, Uber have gone down the principal of they’ve bought a middleware company and they’re going to do the middleware themselves. [But] if you can reduce your reliance on middleware you reduce the chances of errors, problems you face and an extra link in the chain that could go down and prevent orders.”