Just Eat to stop using gig economy workers - BBC News

Published by BBC.CO.UK

Summary generated on August 14, 2020

    The boss of one of the world's biggest food delivery platforms has told the BBC he intends to end gig working at his company across Europe.

    Jitse Groen, who runs Just Eat Takeaway, says he would rather run his company with staff who get benefits and more workplace protection.

    It is the model he has used at the Takeaway.com part of the business he founded 20 years ago.

    Gig workers have flexible hours but normally not benefits like holiday pay.

    In many industries, coronavirus has made incomes more unsteady for these workers, as companies look to cut back on discretionary spending.

    He said he did not like the people his company relies on to deliver food from restaurants to have to endure tougher working conditions.

    Those workers have at least been busy since coronavirus lockdowns began across Europe.

    In the company's three biggest European markets - the UK, Germany and the Netherlands - orders rose 34% to 149 million in the first half of this year compared with the same time in 2019.

    Two huge mergers mean Just Eat Takeaway is set to be the world's biggest food delivery company outside China.

    A $7.3bn deal with US rival Grubhub was announced in June, while Takeaway, founded by Mr Groen, completed a £5.9bn deal for UK based Just Eat in January.

    Mr Groen says demand for his companies' services have recovered from an initial fall when Europe first went into lockdown, leading to a 30% fall in revenue.

    Eating habits have since changed, with millions ordering food in because they weren't able to visit restaurants.

    The Grubhub deal means that growth will accelerate even further, giving Mr Groen more to digest at a time when many companies are putting expansion plans on hold because of the pandemic.

    In the first six months of this year, Grubhub, which operates in 4,000 US cities, took an average of 581,700 orders a day.

    At the moment, freelance delivery drivers take those meals from restaurants to customers.