Brittney Bean, co-founder of Mother Clucker, describes the benefits of working in Deliveroo Editions kitchens, responding to an article by John Harris
We have operated in Deliveroo Editions kitchens in Whitechapel, Swiss Cottage and Crouch End for about a year. John Harris has not. The picture that he has painted (Are dark kitchens the satanic mills of our era?, 9 October) is not something I, nor my team, recognise. The kitchens we work together with Deliveroo to create are chef-led, high-quality, open and optimised for delivery as our chefs work alongside Deliveroo’s teams to ensure that every health and safety regulation is met and comfort levels are taken into account. It’s such a luxury to be able to have kitchens where our teams can focus on building great products specifically for the delivery market.
Creating these kitchens has allowed us to expand rapidly into areas previously impossible for a small, growing business with no institutional investment. By opening these dedicated delivery units across London, we have been able to: circumvent extortionate premiums (costs paid to existing leaseholders to take over a property), which have been driven into the hundreds of thousands of pounds by the many fast casual chains across the city; ameliorate the incredible expense of building and fitting out our own kitchens; and outsource the operational headache of managing a fleet of delivery drivers, while expanding our reach and delivering the best possible fried chicken we can across as much of London as possible. It is a shame that we couldn’t open several 3,000 sq ft, open-kitchen dining rooms with purpose-built delivery stations across central London in a single calendar year, but such is the nature of cashflow and consequently the incredible opportunity in delivery.
Blaming the product of a system that requires a low-overhead model is no way to open a discourse. Rents in central London are staggeringly high, business rates are continuing to rise, the cost of goods are rising above the rate of inflation, interest rates are going up, making financing a less viable option, the impending doom and uncertainty of Brexit has created an unfavourable investment economy, and it’s more difficult than ever to recruit great team members. Delivery kitchens are just one response to these barriers; they are a great way to grow our business and expand our product offering without consolidating too much risk into a single location.
Yes, the way people eat is changing. The ways people do a lot of things are changing. That’s not something to panic about, it’s something to embrace and accept. It brings with it new challenges and new opportunities that we are excited to chase and which allow us to keep serving Londoners the best fried chicken we can across the city.