Benefits of reducing restaurant wait time

Improving restaurant wait times is one of Deliveroo’s top priorities this year.

Minimising the amount of time you spend waiting to pick up an order will improve your experience as a rider, provide better customer outcomes and lead to more orders for our restaurant partners.

In order for us to achieve our goal of reducing restaurant wait times, it is important that we all play our part – Deliveroo, restaurant partners, and riders.

We have updated some of our own processes, such as our rider arrival algorithm,  and have been working hard with restaurants to develop solutions that will help us get closer to achieving our wait time goals.

How you can help reduce wait time at restaurants

One of the most impactful ways you can help drive down restaurant wait time is by accurately updating your status while you’re delivering orders in the app.

How does accurate app use impact wait times?

When riders use the app incorrectly, it starts a vicious cycle that becomes difficult to stop. Some examples of incorrect app use are:

  • accepting an order before you’re ready and taking longer to reach the restaurant than our algorithm expects
  • swiping “See order info” before you are in the restaurant

Unless riders and restaurants start to use the app accurately and trust the estimated prep times, restaurant wait times will continue to be an issue for our network. 

When you use the app incorrectly, it affects three areas of the delivery cycle:


1. Restaurant ‘prep for’ times.

Incorrectly using the app doesn’t only affect one customer’s order – it has a long lasting negative impact on Deliveroo’s algorithms. 

This is because our systems have been built with ‘smart-learning’ technology, which learns from your behaviour each time you use the app. When you use the app incorrectly, our system learns from this too and uses incorrect information to calculate how long a restaurant needs to prepare an order. Each time you use the app incorrectly, our system uses this information to inaccurately calculate new time estimates.  

2. Rider pick-up times.

The more inaccurate the information our algorithm, Frank, receives from riders, the less accurate the information it sends to other riders. 

As well as leading to incorrect preparation time for restaurants, using the app incorrectly also causes Frank to make mistakes when calculating the time you’ll arrive to pick up orders. This means Frank could start sending other riders too early or too late to restaurants, so that they will then have to wait at the restaurant longer than they were meant to. Eventually you will too, because their rider journeys weren’t accurately marked in the App. 

3. The customer and rider experience.

Accepting an order without the intention to complete the order within the estimated delivery time also impacts customer experiences and other riders’ ability to receive offers of work

As an independent contractor, you choose whether to accept or reject any work that is offered to you. However, it is important to understand that if you don’t plan on moving to the restaurant within the estimated time or you swipe “See order info” when you very far from the restaurant then it begins to increase restaurant wait times and it takes orders away from other riders who are prepared and ready to provide their delivery services.


Using the app accurately leads to positive outcomes

This issue requires all of us: Deliveroo, restaurants, and riders, to work together to ensure the network isn’t impacted. If we achieve this, riders then won’t need to wait as long at restaurants and customers will get their food fresh and on time! 

You can help break this vicious cycle. Read more about what accurate app use looks like!