Deliveroo boss remembers how ‘rude’ restaurant staff pushed him away when he infiltrated as a rider


The CEO of Deliveroo admitted he often masqueraded as a biker to test the system – and recalled how “rude” restaurant staff once pushed him away when he complained about the cold food.

Co-founder Will Shu performs the weird delivery on his bike for oblivious customers – with only a few colleagues recognizing him on his tours in London, he revealed on The Diary of a CEO podcast.

He explained that he was completing collections and deliveries to test the Deliveroo app, as a “decent way to exercise” and “see restaurants in action, too”.

During one of his tours near his home in Notting Hill, Will, considered a millionaire thanks to his £ 5 billion business, was “rudely” rejected by staff at one of the restaurants when he warned them that the food they had given him to deliver was cold.

Deliveroo CEO (pictured) recalled how ‘rude’ restaurant staff once pushed him away when he complained about the cold food pretending to be a rider

“I made five deliveries last night to Notting Hill,” said the notoriously private entrepreneur. “Nobody recognizes me, runners sometimes, but I’m not like a celebrity so nobody recognizes me.”

Speaking that the restaurant staff without his knowledge were “rude” to him, he continued: “I was like “Hey, I’ve been waiting for a while”. I’m like “come on”.

“Then I had the food and it was a little cold, and I was like, ‘Hey, you know this food is kinda cold.’ And they were like, “Just deliver it mate.”

“It was really funny, as they were being rude to me, this other runner approached me. He didn’t know who I was. It was just like ‘you see these guys are starting over again’, ”added Will.

The CEO said he didn’t tell the staff who he was because he wanted to understand what his runners were going through, and instead of saying a word, he recorded it in his notes.

Co-founder Will Shu (pictured) performs the bizarre delivery on his bike for oblivious customers - with only a few colleagues acknowledging him on his London tours, he revealed on The Diary of a CEO podcast

Co-founder Will Shu (pictured) performs the weird delivery on his bike for oblivious customers – with only a few colleagues acknowledging him on his London tours, he revealed on The Diary of a CEO podcast

When asked if he would inform the restaurant bosses, he replied: “I will do it 100%”.

He said he would say, “I waited a long time, you clearly had the food prepared, it was just sitting down, we have to find a way to make this work.

“And please tell your staff to smile, to say ‘hey, how are you doing?’ It makes a big difference in people’s lives.

Will revealed his top three reasons he made deliveries for his business, including testing the Deliveroo app, as a “decent way to exercise” and “see restaurants in action, too.”

He explained, “I’m still testing our piloting app, so it’s a good way to do it. Second, a decent way to exercise, and you’re right on the go, and you don’t think about anything else. In fact, I find it very relaxing.

Will (pictured) explained that he completes the pickups and deliveries to test the Deliveroo app, as

Will (pictured) explained that he is completing pickups and deliveries to test the Deliveroo app, as a “decent way to exercise” and “see restaurants in action, too”

“Third, I can also see the restaurants in action. The consumer doesn’t want to talk to you, but they just want their food, I understand. But restaurants, you can learn a lot just by spending time there.

Yet despite her frontline experience, Will’s business has been harassed by allegations that it does not pay and treat its delivery staff properly.

In April this year, runners at Deliveroo went on strike over wages, workers’ rights and safety after it was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Social distancing protests have taken place in cities like London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton.

According to a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, some Deliveroo drivers only earn £ 2 an hour.

Deliveroo rejected the findings, which were revealed in March, and claimed runners were making an average of £ 13 per hour during peak periods.

Greg Howard, a Deliveroo runner and an official with the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), said: “I am going on strike for my basic rights and those of all the other runners who are fighting for it. going out and supporting families on Deliveroo pays poverty.

“I watched conditions decline for years and then while working during the lockdown I contracted Covid-19 and received very little support. After the pandemic, more people than ever understand that this exploitation is no way to treat anyone, let alone key workers.

Deliveroo said that “this small, self-proclaimed union does not represent the vast majority of runners who tell us they appreciate the total flexibility they get.”

Surveys of cyclists found most were happy with the company and flexibility was their top priority, the company said in a statement.

Deliveroo’s ‘geek’ CEO who eats only food from his own app: meet the co-founder who started the company after wandering the night in Canary Wharf in search of restaurant-quality meals

Will Shu, an avowed American geek who moved to the UK to work for JP Morgan, founded Deliveroo in 2013 after being forced to eat Tesco sandwiches and salads during the last shifts as a banker at Canary Wharf .

Today, he runs Britain’s third-largest take-out delivery company, behind Uber Eats and Just Eat, having been Deliveroo’s first runner eight years ago.

The notoriously private entrepreneur is described by friends as “incredibly intense” and “obsessed” with business and food. But despite his wealth and commercial success, he is believed to have been single for some, if not all, of his time at the helm.

Will, who says he’s a “good tip” for Deliveroo runners who bring his three meals a day by bike or car to his terraced house in Notting Hill, or at his office in town, still works at least once. per week on his bike.

Although he loves ordering from KFC and Nando, Will tends to order “regimented” meals.

These include hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, chicken and broccoli for lunch, and a salad for dinner at his West London home restaurants to keep from gaining weight.

Will was born to Taiwanese parents in Connecticut in 1979. After graduating from Northwestern University, he joined JP Morgan, first working in New York, then moving to their headquarters in London.

It was there, as he wandered the Canary Wharf Mall at night in search of quality meals, that he concocted the idea for Deliveroo, creating the company and becoming his first pilot.

He founded the company with his childhood friend Greg Orlowski, a software engineer who designed the app. Orlowski quit five years ago to spend more time with his daughter in Chicago, but he and Will remain friends.


Comments are closed.