New Deliveroo virtual restaurants are getting ready to deliver alcohol with food in Glasgow – while creating 60 jobs.
The new concept – called Deliveroo Editions – was granted an off sales licence on Friday, despite concerns it was based in an area where new booze licences are restricted.
So far five “dark kitchens” are lining up to serve grub but there could be as many as nine at the venture’s address at 1 Scotland Street.
Glasgow’s licensing board heard there was a £2.1m investment in the new site where food will only be available for delivery – and can’t be eaten on the premises.
Details of what type of food is on offer was not revealed at today’s licensing board meeting. Councillors were taken aback at having to sign a non-disclosure agreement when they visited the site earlier.
One licensing board member said it was an “absolute nonsense” having to sign the agreement pointing out they are a quasi judicial body while another slammed it as “unacceptable.”
A representative from Glasgow’s health and social care partnership voiced concerns about alcohol being available for unregulated consumption as part of the delivery service.
She pointed out the kitchens would be located in an ‘overprovision’ neighbourhood in the Tradeston and Laurieston area, which means the board has a presumption against granting alcohol licences.
The health expert said deliveries increase access to booze as there is no need to travel and she said there are concerns it would increase alcohol related harm. She suggested a limit on the amount of drink that can be ordered.
Deliveroo Editions operates in partnership with restaurants who prepare the food while it provides the kitchen space and delivery.
An agent representing the firm said it is expected alcohol will be less than five per cent of the Glasgow “dark kitchen” venture and “it is a tightly run operation.”
He said Deliveroo Editions would consider limiting the quantity of alcohol per order to ease health concerns.
Explaining more about how it will work, the agent said the alcohol would be more expensive than retail prices while pointing out there would be no public access and deliveries would end at 11pm.
The health official added: “Alcohol can be a risk factor for anyone regardless of how much it costs.”
Meanwhile councillors sitting on the board were not pleased at being asked to sign a non disclosure agreement during an earlier tour of the premises.
Councillor Dan Hutchison, Scottish Greens, said: “I find it unacceptable having to sign a non disclosure agreement when we entered the site.”
He said councillors need to be able to discuss matters when considering the granting of licences.
Councillor Bill Butler, Labour, described the non disclosure agreement as an “absolute nonsense” describing the board as a quasi judicial body.
The agent said the matter “would be looked at.”
The meeting heard Deliveroo Editions hires local people as it creates a “community vibe when people live and work in the area and have local knowledge.”
Five kitchens have recruited 60 people so far the meeting heard. The board granted the off sales premises licence for Deliveroo Editions.
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