A few weeks back my friends had twins (Hi Benny! Hi Freya!). Mum and Dad are wont to frequent restaurants and we plan on going out to one together again in – ooh, about 2021.

We have, however, already managed a night in with the baby monitor and a delivery. This was facilitated by Deliveroo, a service well established in London and which has recently launched in Leicester.  Basically it is an outsourced delivery service for independent restaurants  and others that would not normally offer it themselves. So if you want or need to eat at home, or in the office during the day, you are no longer limited to standard takeaways. We had a variety of tagines from Marrakech on Highfield Street and it all worked splendidly.

A few weeks later I met Jason Mann, Deliveroo’s man in the Midlands, who explained a bit more about the concept. Deliveroo has its own team on bikes and scooters, who position themselves strategically around the city centre. Diners go on the Deliveroo website where they can see the restaurant menus – edited to include just the deliverable items – and make an order and pay. Restaurants are notified and accept the order, then your delivery guy picks it up and delivers. You can pick a time slot if ordering ahead, or the average delivery time from ordering is 32 minutes.

There’s a minimum order of £15 and a standard delivery charge of £2.50. Currently it only operates within a radius of 2.5 kilometres of the city centre, though that might change in future.  At the moment  there are around 25 restaurants in the scheme, including Maiyango (from their daytime menu), Crafty Burger, Peter Pizzeria, Carluccio’s, Kuru Kuru Sushi, Cedars Lebanese, The Smokehouse, Yesim, Queen of Bradgate and the Slovakian bar and restaurant Tatra Eastern Corner (look out for my review in the Mercury this coming Saturday).

I was invited to try out the service on them, and again it all worked fine. The website is admirably streamlined and ordering is straightforward. The delivery came on time to the minute, and the food – old-school Chinese from the newly-relaunched Peking on Charles Street – came in good condition.

I had a few questions about how it all operated and Jason offered to talk to a couple of restaurants and  make a little film for this blog, so I emailed a few questions and they went to talk to Peter Pizzeria and Cedars Lebanese. Here’s the result!:

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