Sunday 4 December 2016

Mainstream to Michelin-starred cuisine on menu as Amazon enters London food market

Josie Clarke

Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30

Big US player rolls out its food service in a competitive market
Big US player rolls out its food service in a competitive market

Amazon has extended its US restaurant delivery service to London, entering a fiercely competitive market as it seeks to capture more of Britons' online food spending.

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The service is the latest effort by the online retailer to attract customers to its £79-a-year subscription base following ultra-fast delivery offers and the launch of Amazon Fresh food deliveries in June.

Amazon Restaurants allows members in certain postcodes in the British capital to order food from selected restaurants in their area via the Prime Now app for free delivery within an hour.

Restaurants range from family favourites such as Strada, Gastronomica and Planet Hollywood to Asian fusion specialists Crazy Bear and the Michelin-starred Benares.

Customers can use the app to view participating restaurants, browse menus, place orders and track their deliveries in real time. Amazon has promised customers there will be no menu mark- ups or hidden fees to use the delivery service, which will apply to orders with a minimum value of £15.

Al Wilkinson, UK head of Amazon Restaurants, said: "London offers some of the best cuisine from around the world, so we're delighted that Amazon Prime customers can now enjoy food from their favourite restaurants via Amazon's ultra-fast Prime Now service.

"Based on our own research into what is important to consumers in food delivery, our team have hand-picked a selection of the best quality local restaurants in London. We're excited to be helping many of these small businesses start offering home delivery for the very first time."

Amazon Restaurants was launched in Seattle a year ago and has been rolled out to 14 more cities since. Its launch in the UK sees it entering an already busy market involving Deliveroo and Uber. In June, the taxi app company introduced UberEATS to central London, allowing users to have food delivered from nearby restaurants within 30 minutes via a dedicated app and website for a charge of between £2 and £2.50 but with no minimum order price.

Competitor Deliveroo has grown rapidly with its model of paying drivers to collect food from restaurants that do not run a home delivery service. Amazon Prime membership grew by 51pc last year. Shares in another competitor, Just Eat, fell as much as 5.3pc in early trading in London yesterday. Amazon did not break down numbers locally but said there were "millions" of Amazon Prime members in the UK. (PA)

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