Turnhout in the province of Antwerp will be the first Belgian city to which Deliveroo expands this year, and the meal-delivery company announced it’s seeking 20 couriers to kick off the launch.
“Many local restaurants already showed interest,” said Quirin Dalemans, General Manager of Deliveroo, in a statement.
“We also welcome neighbourhood shops and specialty shops such as bakeries or wine shops.”
Deliveroo says the company is expanding in Belgium due to increasing demand from both the population and local restaurants and convenience stores. Indeed, the British-born platform saw a strong 2021 with the pandemic-related lockdowns having cemented new habits of ordering delivery.
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“2021 was a successful year for Deliveroo with an expansion to no less than 14 Belgian cities,” Dalemans said.
“2022 will also be a very promising year for Deliveroo. We are very much looking forward to this first launch and can't wait to let all the people of Turnhout enjoy all the benefits Deliveroo has to offer. The launch of our platform will undoubtedly add value to the local restaurants in Turnhout, in the form of new opportunities and customers.”
Not completely smooth sailing
But there has been backlash against companies like Deliveroo and Uber, which are large multinational tech corporations whose workers are classified as independent contractors, denying them access to many labour protections and social benefits.
Belgium is still determining whether or not to adopt a new EU directive early – a directive which would make it so workers for platforms are considered traditional employees unless they prove otherwise.
Deliveroo pulled out of Spain when the government there took similar steps towards improving the working conditions of platform workers, but for now the company continues to expand in Belgium, where it has been active since 2015.
Today they’re present in more than 27 cities and towns in the country, including Aalst, Antwerp, Mons, Bruges, Brussels, Charleroi, Doornik, Genk, Ghent, Grimbergen, Hasselt, Knokke-Heist, Kortrijk, Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, Liege, Machelen, Mechelen, Namur, Nivelles, Ostend, Roeselare, Sint-Niklaas, Sint-Truiden, Vilvoorde, Waterloo and Wavre.
Currently, there are 3,000 couriers active in Belgium and thousands of restaurants work with the Deliveroo platform.