Chris Lucas believes consumers aren’t getting the standard of food they deserve with the current home-delivery model.
“When everyone started launching a year ago, restaurants were trying to deliver food that wasn’t designed to travel. The whole market was lacking in quality,” Lucas, the owner of restaurants Chin Chin, Hawker Hall and others, tells Broadsheet.
To combat these challenges Lucas has started doing things differently.
His restaurants Kong and Baby are two of the inaugural residents of Melbourne’s new Deliveroo Editions kitchen, which allows for a more streamlined delivery process to a broader range of suburbs. Launched on Wednesday, the concept – an Australian first – involves kitchens shared by multiple restaurant brands making food for delivery only.
“We believe this is the future of delivery,” says Lucas. “[There are] a lot fewer complications – we can move quicker, we can test new items on the market and we can adapt menus quicker.
“We don’t believe that taking food out of restaurants is sustainable or represents the best value for customers.”
Busy kitchens face immense pressure serving dine-in and delivery customers, a problem the Deliveroo Editions site solves.
In addition to bringing its Richmond venues to the heart of Windsor, the Lucas Group has developed two new delivery-only concepts that will operate out of the space: Yubi and DiDi Dumplings.
Both new offerings have been designed to take into account specifically the challenges of delivering a fresh product to customers.
“I believe consumers were getting a sub-standard product, designed by restaurants to be eaten in restaurants,” Lucas says. Yubi and DiDi “take into account all the nuances of delivery. It travels well, it’s affordable and tasty.”
DiDi – meaning “little brother” in Mandarin – offers the dumplings and spring rolls served at its sibling Hawker Hall, which takes the bright, bold creations of street-food vendors throughout Asia as its reference point. Fried crab gyoza; steamed pork and water chestnut steamed dumplings; and shrimp and crab spring rolls all feature.
Rice, the backbone of Japanese cuisine, is the starting point for Yubi. Hot and cold rice bowls with marinated tofu or crispy pork katsu are offered alongside bento boxes and panko prawn handrolls.
The Kong and Baby offerings will focus on the delivery-appropriate options of their regular menus. Burgers and wings from Kong; Pizza, salad and travel-friendly pasta from Baby.
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