Riders given four days’ notice that Deliveroo is exiting Germany

12 Aug 2019

A Deliveroo cargo box beside a bike. Image: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

After four years in Germany, Deliveroo announced that it will cease operations in the country on 16 August.

Today (12 August), food delivery giant Deliveroo announced that it will be pulling out of the German market.

The news comes just a few days after the company flew KFC meals around the skies of London in a Deliveroo-branded helicopter. Sifted writer Amy Lewin, who was present on the voyage, remarked: “It was a sign of what happens when start-ups are high on too much VC cash.”

Across the channel, however, things aren’t as light-hearted as they appear to be in London. After four years in Germany, Deliveroo will cease operations on 16 August, according to an email the company sent out this morning.

In a statement to TechCrunch, the company thanked its employees, riders and restaurant partners, before stating: “Deliveroo will continue to grow and invest in markets across the world, seeking to become the world’s definitive food company.”


There are around 1,100 self-employed delivery riders signed up to Deliveroo in Germany, who make deliveries for the 2,000 restaurants that use the platform.

In an email sent to delivery workers, Deliveroo said it would provide a “one-off goodwill payment” equal to 10 days’ pay, and a second payment equal to two weeks’ pay, plus any other outstanding fees owed. These payments will be made only to riders who have been active in the last 12 weeks, and it will be based on their average weekly earnings over that period.

One of Deliveroo’s riders who worked for the company for the past three years in Berlin, Wojtek Swieca, told Quartz: “I think I’m still in a little bit of a shocked state. I never would have expected that the company would pack its bags and leave Germany on such short notice. If it were three months in advance it wouldn’t be that tragic, but four days in advance is crazy.”

Deliveroo riders on the company’s Reddit community were similarly shocked, with many airing their frustration about receiving four days’ notice to find a new job.


The news of Deliveroo’s departure from Germany will likely be welcomed by Dutch-based Takeaway.com, which recently announced plans to merge with Just Eat in a £9bn deal.

Takeaway.com, which operates under the name Lieferando in Germany, reported €939m in sales in the country between June 2018 and June 2019. Takeaway.com also acquired Germany’s Delivery Hero for €930m in December 2018.

Deliveroo operates in 200 cities across 12 countries. When the company first entered the German market in 2015, it publicly acknowledged the competition it would face, particularly in Berlin, which had a well-established base of local food delivery start-ups.

Last year, Deliveroo pulled out of smaller German cities and announced plans to focus specifically on Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

In its announcement that it was leaving the German market entirely, the company stated: “Where we cannot do this to the level that we expect and you deserve, we won’t operate.”

A Deliveroo cargo box beside a bike. Image: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic