Deliveroo uses ‘Frank’ algorithm to cut delivery times by 20%

A cyclist rides a bicycle as he delivers food for Deliveroo. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Food delivery startup Deliveroo claims it has reduced its delivery times by 20% with a new algorithm called “Frank”.

The London-headquartered company, which is now competing with Amazon Restaurants and UberEats, announced on Wednesday that Frank has enabled it to reduce its average delivery time to 29 minutes in the UK.

A spokesperson for UberEats claimed the average time for one of its deliveries in the UK is 28 minutes but Deliveroo would likely question whether its couriers are indeed faster on average. 

Deliveroo said Frank uses machine learning — a technology that allows software to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed — to evaluate the most efficient way of distributing orders based on the location of restaurants, riders, and customers.

The algorithm can also tell Deliveroo’s 10,000 UK restaurants how long it will take them to prepare a meal based on the time of the day and the type of order, Deliveroo said. Deliveroo claims that its 15,000 UK riders are benefiting from Frank because it allows them to complete more deliveries per hour and earn more money.

Mike Hudack, CTO at Deliveroo said in a statement: “Deliveroo’s British-built technology is the most exciting thing being developed in Europe right now and we want our new London HQ to be where global innovations happen.

“We’re building an algorithm which can cope with millions of simultaneous orders, while continuously refining itself, improving the experience for our riders, restaurants and customers. Our investment in the engineering team is testament to that ambition, and we are working on new, trailblazing technology that will make that ambition a reality.”

Deliveroo announced in January that it was planning hire 300 additional engineers in 2017.

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