SG’s Smart City Kitchens gets back at GrabFood, Deliveroo over F&B shutouts

A food delivery cycle courier, working for Deliveroo, operated by Roofoods Ltd., passes motor scooters with boxes for Deliveroo, left and center, and UberEats, operated by Uber Technologies Inc., right, in London. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Singapore-based shared kitchen operator, Smart City Kitchens (SCK) says it is yet to enter active discussions with Deliveroo over the alleged shut-outs of its Singapore F&B operators. It also rebuts GrabFood’s assertions that SCK’s venue is not ‘optimally located’ for its consumers and delivery partners.

In a media statement to DealStreetAsia, Warren Tseng, General Manager of Smart City Kitchens said that Deliveroo informed SCK’s restaurant partners that there would be a shut-out for two days after SCK met Deliveroo on 3 June. This was done without providing a reason for its partners.

Tseng added that its last meeting with Deliveroo was on 19 June instead of July, as suggested by Deliveroo Singapore. According to SCK, it not been in active discussions with Deliveroo since, but welcomes any communication with them.

Regarding GrabFood, Tseng added he finds it “puzzling” that it does not find SCK’s shared kitchen operator optimally located for its services.

According to Tseng, SCK’s shared kitchen has over 350 restaurants on GrabFood’s online platform within 3 kilometres of its location. This same vicinity serves a resident population of over 400,000 residents across Tampines and Pasir Ris.

SCK added that GrabFood had once abruptly disabled access to F&B entrepreneurs operating from SCK’s shared kitchen in Tampines on 27 June.

“The shut-outs by GrabFood and Deliveroo, which jointly account for the majority of Singapore’s online food delivery market, have occurred within days of each other. These actions have been hugely disruptive to our F&B partners’ businesses,” said Tseng.

SCK filed a complaint with the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) over GrabFood and Deliveroo’s anti-competitive behaviour last week. Tseng says SCK is in active talks with CCCS to work out a solution.

Deliveroo and GrabFood occupy about 60 per cent of Singapore’s online food delivery market, according to SCK. Deliveroo Singapore operates three shared kitchens, while Grab has announced plans to foray into the area.

Established in 2019, SCK is a cloud kitchen startup linked to former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. According to SCK, it is the first operator in Singapore to not be associated with any particular delivery service.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.