Delivery riders are to strike again on Friday as takeaway order numbers fell during the Valentine’s Day walkout.

There were roughly 30% fewer orders in London during the strike period last Wednesday than the same 5pm to 10pm hours on Valentine’s Day in 2022 and 2023, according to delivery rider app, Rodeo.

Across the UK the fall was 10% to 20% of normal volumes.

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Rodeo expected 750,000 to 1 million orders would have taken place across the UK throughout the five Valentine’s Day hours.

The sum is based on the 10 to 15 million average number of takeaway orders a week in the UK and Ireland, taken from delivery company results as well as previous Valentine’s Day order data.

Data from 5,000 to 10,000 delivery riders using Just Eat, Uber Eats and Stuart was used to generate this data.

The app allows riders to track their earnings, communicate with other couriers, and see which apps, areas and times are busiest.

While Deliveroo is not included on Rodeo, the Rodeo co-founder told Sky News there’s no reason to believe the effect wasn’t consistent across delivery platforms.

Deliveroo said “Rodeo does not have any access to Deliveroo data and therefore it is misleading to suggest any read across to our business. Every single one of these data points is incorrect for Deliveroo”.

A Just Eat spokesperson said: “Just Eat disputes the claims.”

It’s understood the majority of restaurants using Just Eat have their own delivery couriers, which protects the platform from the effect of rider stoppages.

delivery drivers
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Delivery drivers

Delivery riders typically work across platforms, delivering for more than one company at a time.

In advance of the stoppage last Wednesday Deliveroo contacted restaurants in areas it expected to be impacted and suggested they stop accepting orders if they begin to stack up, and switch delivery terminals to offline mode “to avoid a negative customer experience”.

The email, seen by Sky News, said restaurants will not be charged commission for cancelling deliveries and that Deliveroo will proactively cancel orders that are more than 45 minutes late en route to customers.

Strikes are again taking place between 5pm and 10pm on Friday 22 February as riders, organised by the Delivery Jobs UK group, say pay has fallen and they have to work longer hours for less money.

That work is often done in dangerous environments and wet and windy weather. Riders can deal with drunk people, bike thefts and racism on the job, a Delivery Jobs UK spokesperson told Sky News.

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Delivery rider on why he’s striking

Strikes are to continue if demands for a £5 minimum fee per delivery, compensation for the time it takes to get to the pick-up point, and increased pay when delivering more than one order from a given outlet are not met.

In response, Just Eat also said: “Our data shows that couriers delivering for Just Eat earn, on average, significantly over both the London and national living wage for the time they are on an order.

“We provide a highly competitive base rate to self-employed couriers and have a good relationship with the vast majority of couriers across our network. In addition, we offer regular incentives to help them maximise their earnings and continue to review our pay structure regularly.”

A Deliveroo spokesperson also said: “Thousands of people apply to work with Deliveroo each month, rider retention rates are high and the overwhelming majority of riders tell us that they are satisfied working with us.

“We value dialogue with riders, which is why we have a voluntary partnership agreement with a trade union”.

A Stuart spokesperson commented: “We worked closely with clients to minimise disruption during the impacted period, and will continue to do so for any future instances.

“Stuart remains committed to providing competitive earnings opportunities for courier partners and delivering a courier-centric platform.”

An Uber Eats spokesperson said: “We offer a flexible way for couriers to earn by using the app when and where they choose, something we know the vast majority of couriers value.

“Couriers are also covered by our partner protection programme that provides insurance if they are injured whilst working and income protection if they are sick and not able to work, and we and we regularly engage with couriers to look at how we can improve their experience.”

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