An ad for Deliveroo, seen in the local press in July 2017, stated “Who’s cooking for you tonight? Try something new. Get Very Italian Pizza, Thaikhun, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Moshimo and The Chilli Pickle delivered to your door”. Further text stated “HOVE AND PORTSLADE GET THE FOOD YOU LOVE, DELIVERED. Deliveroo has brought a whole new set of restaurants to your neighbourhood. Why not order something a little different tonight?”.
The complainant, who understood that the food delivered to Hove and Portslade was prepared at a single facility rather than on-site at the listed restaurants, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Roofoods Ltd t/a Deliveroo stated that they had a Deliveroo Editions site which delivered food prepared by the restaurants listed in the ad to customers based in Hove and Portslade. The site consisted of a number of separate and distinct kitchens and was owned and operated by Deliveroo. However, Deliveroo acted solely as a landlord/licensee with respect to the restaurants. Each restaurant on the site operated under a contract that covered license to use the allocated kitchen for the purpose of food preparation and delivery of food. Chefs and food preparation staff were employed and managed directly by the individual restaurant, and all food was sourced, chosen and prepared under the control of the management of each restaurant. It was a contractual requirement that the food prepared at the shared site was of consistent quality with the food prepared at the restaurant. All ingredients and bulk-prepared elements of food items were derived from the same vendors and prep kitchens used by the dine-in locations. They said that, across the Deliveroo platform as a whole, restaurants could elect to nominate specific dishes for delivery based on their popularity and how well the dish would travel. Although Deliveroo Editions sites typically operated a slightly reduced menu compared with the dine-in menu, it was consistent with the delivery menu that was available to order directly from the dine-in restaurant locations.
Deliveroo believed that consumers were likely to understand that the food they ordered from a particular restaurant through Deliveroo Editions would be prepared by the staff of that restaurant, in a location operated by the restaurant and in a manner consistent with in-restaurant food items. As this was factually correct, they did not consider the ad materially misleading. They did not think that customers would expect that the location where the food was prepared had a “dine-in” element, because this would have no effect or impact on the product they received.
Deliveroo said they had been very open about the nature of Deliveroo Editions as a means for multiple restaurants to run delivery-only kitchens. The scheme had been the subject of numerous articles in which they publicised the fact that it operated delivery-only kitchens aimed at bringing restaurant brands to locations which did not currently have access to a wide selection of restaurants. Every restaurant operating out of a Deliveroo Editions site was labelled as such on the Deliveroo platform, by means of a disclaimer at the top of the menu stating “[Restaurant] has joined your local Deliveroo Edition - a hub of specially selected restaurant kitchens, all dedicated to delivery” or “[Restaurant] is on Editions. Bespoke restaurant kitchens, hand-picked for your area”. For that reason, they believed that it would not be possible for a consumer to make a purchase from a Deliveroo Editions site without being explicitly notified of the nature of Deliveroo Editions.
The ASA noted that the ad stated “Get Very Italian Pizza, Thaikhun, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Moshimo and The Chilli Pickle delivered to your door” and “Deliveroo has brought a whole new set of restaurants to your neighbourhood”. We considered that consumers would understand this to mean that they could order food from the listed restaurants for home delivery.
We understood that the kitchens at the Deliveroo Editions site prepared dishes that were available at the dine-in locations of the restaurants in question, of consistent quality, and that staff working in each kitchen were hired and overseen by the management of the respective restaurant. While we understood that the range of items available was reduced compared to the menus available at the dine-in locations, we noted that this would also be the situation when ordering food directly from a dine-in location, in many cases. In that context we considered that the food delivered from the Deliveroo Editions site was unlikely to be significantly different from the food prepared at the dine-in restaurant location.
We acknowledged that the ad did not explicitly make clear that the food was not prepared at the restaurant sites where dine-in eating was also available, and readers of the ad might understand that the food had come directly from the dine-in location. However, given that we understood that the food was prepared under the management of the restaurant brand and was consistent with the food that was available to eat on-site at that restaurant, we did not consider that the physical location where the food was prepared was material information that was likely to affect a consumer’s decision. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to materially mislead consumers and did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising), and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.