Millionaire Deliveroo boss recalls how ‘rude’ restaurant staff brushed him off when he complained about cold food when he went undercover as a rider for £5billion company
- CEO of Deliveroo has admitted he often poses as a rider to test out the system
- Recalled how ‘rude’ restaurant staff once brushed him off when he complained
- Only some riders recognise him during his rounds in London, he revealed on The Diary of a CEO podcast
The CEO of Deliveroo has admitted he often poses as a rider to test out the system – and recalled how ‘rude’ restaurant staff once brushed him off when he complained about cold food.
Co-founder Will Shu carries out the odd delivery on his bike for unaware customers – with only some colleagues recognising him during his rounds in London, he revealed on The Diary of a CEO podcast.
He explained that he completes the collections and deliveries to test out the Deliveroo app, as a ‘decent way to exercise’ and to ‘see the restaurants in action too’.
During one of his rounds near his home in Notting Hill, Will, thought to be a millionaire thanks to his £5billion firm, was ‘rudely’ brushed off by staff at one of the eateries when he warned them that the food they’d given him to deliver was cold.
The CEO of Deliveroo (pictured) has recalled how ‘rude’ restaurant staff once brushed him off when he complained about cold food when posing as a rider
‘I did five deliveries last night in Notting Hill,’ the notoriously private entrepreneur said. ‘No one recognises me, the rider’s sometimes, but I’m not like a celebrity so no one recognises me.’
Speaking about unwitting restaurant staff being ‘rude’ to him, he continued: ‘I was like “Hey, I’ve been waiting for a while”. I’m like “come on”.
‘Then I got the food and it was kind of cold, and I’m like “Hey, you know this food’s kind of cold”. And they were like: “Just deliver it buddy”.
Co-founder Will Shu (pictured) carries out the odd delivery on his bike for unaware customers – with only some colleagues recognising him during his rounds in London, he revealed on The Diary of a CEO podcast
‘It was really funny, as they were being rude to me, this other rider walked up to me. He didn’t know who I was. He was just like “you see, these guys are at it again”‘, Will added.
The CEO said he didn’t tell the staff who he was because he wants to understand what his riders are going through, and instead of having a word, he logs it in his notes.
Asked if he would be informing the restaurant’s bosses, he said: ‘100 per cent I will.’
He said he would say: ‘I waited around for a long time, you clearly had made the food, it was just sitting around, we need to figure out a way to get this to work.
Will (pictured) explained that he completes the collections and deliveries to test out the Deliveroo app, as a ‘decent way to exercise’ and to ‘see the restaurants in action too’
‘And please tell your staff just smile, say “hey, how are you doing”. It makes a big difference in people’s days.’
Will revealed his top three reasons for completing deliveries for his company, including testing out the Deliveroo app, as a ‘decent way to exercise’ and to ‘see the restaurants in action too’.
He explained: ‘I always test our rider app, so it’s a good way to do it. Secondly, decent way to get some exercise, and you’re just on the road, and you’re not thinking about anything else. I actually find it very relaxing.
‘Thirdly, I can actually see the restaurants in action too. The consumer doesn’t want to talk to you, but they just want their food, I get it. But the restaurants you can learn a lot just by spending time there.’
Revealed: The Deliveroo CEO who STILL delivers meals himself and just eats food from his own app
Will Shu, a self-confessed geeky American who moved to the UK to work for JP Morgan, founded Deliveroo in 2013 after being forced to eat Tesco sandwiches and salads during late shifts working as a banker in Canary Wharf.
Today he runs Britain’s third largest takeaway delivery company, behind Uber Eats and Just Eat, having been Deliveroo’s first rider eight years ago.
The notoriously private entrepreneur is described by friends as ‘incredibly intense’ and ‘obsessed’ with the business and food. But despite his wealth and business success, he is believed to have been single for some, if not all, of his time at the helm.
Will, who says he is a ‘good tipper’ to the Deliveroo riders who bring his three meals a day by bike or car to his terraced house in Notting Hill, or at his office in the City, still works at least once a week on his bike.
Although he loves ordering from KFC and Nando’s, Will does tend to order ‘regimented’ meals.
These include boiled eggs for breakfast, chicken and broccoli for lunch and a salad for dinner from restaurants around his west London home to help avoid piling on the pounds.
Will was born to Taiwanese parents in Connecticut in 1979. After getting a degree from Northwestern University he joined JP Morgan, first working in New York and then moving to their London headquarters.
It was there, while wandering Canary Wharf’s mall at night looking for restaurant quality meals, that he cooked up the idea for Deliveroo, setting up the firm and becoming its first rider.
He founded the business with his childhood friend Greg Orlowski, a software engineer who designed the app. Orlowski quit five years ago to spend more time with his daughter in Chicago, but he and Will remain friends.
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