The new scheme takes direct aim at Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats
The company, which offers the delivery service through its Amazon Prime membership scheme, said it would initially deliver to areas including the City, Islington and the West End, and had signed up more than 180 restaurants including pizza chain Strada and upmarket Indian restaurant Benares.
The service will allow smaller, more specialised restaurants to offer delivery services for the first time, according to Amazon, which said it plans to expand to more areas of London outside of its initial 21 postcodes, which include Chelsea, Vauxhall and Bethnal Green.
“Our team have hand-picked a selection of the best-quality local restaurants in London,” said Amazon Restaurants’ UK chief Al Wilkinson. “We’re excited to be helping many of these small businesses start offering home delivery.”
Restaurant Archipelago said it had previously been reluctant to deliver its specialities, which include exotic meats and insects, but found Amazon’s service to be a good fit with its business.
“Home delivery is something we’ve long considered but haven’t been confident the food would arrive in the best condition,” explained the restaurant’s head chef, Daniel Creedon.
“But Amazon understand logistics and can ensure the food reaches our customers as it should.”
Other restaurants include salad chain Tossed, Crepe Affaire, El Olivio, Boltons, Burgershack, Grab Thai, The Turks Head, Boisdale and Tongue and Brisket.
Orders must be a minimum of £15 to qualify for free delivery and only Amazon Prime members can order, with the Prime service priced at £7.99 a month or £79 a year. However, users can sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial.
Customers place orders through the Amazon Prime Now mobile app, which lists restaurants available in their area and tracks orders in transit.
Amazon recently launched same-day grocery deliveries in London and offers restaurant deliveries in 12 US cities, including New York, Los Angeles and its home town of Seattle.
The company says there are no menu mark-ups or hidden fees, and is offering refunds to customers who find they’ve paid more than the menu price for a meal. That differs from Deliveroo’s policy, which doesn’t require restaurants to match menu prices.
Mobile technology has heated up competition in the UK’s £9 billion market for restaurant deliveries, with Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo employing bicycle and scooter couriers to distribute meals in London and other cities.
Just Eat, founded in 2000, is the oldest of the major online food delivery ordering services operating in the UK, with Deliveroo and Uber Eats having followed respectively in 2013 and 2014.
Amazon’s Prime Now also offers fast delivery of the company’s wider range of products, including same-day, delivery within a two-hour window and one-hour delivery in certain areas.
Amazon has said it ultimately plans to use remotely piloted drones to offer fast delivery services.
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