Deliveroo
Deliveroo looks to take a slice out of Just Eat's market.

Deliveroo is planning to expand in the UK this year by signing around 5,000 new eateries.

The expansion plans will see partner restaurants be able to use their own drivers and handle their own delivery, as part of the takeaway app’s new Marketplace+ feature.

The food delivery company said it expects around 5,000 new restaurants to come on board as a result, creating additional driver jobs.

The additional service will put Deliveroo directly in competition with rival platform, JustEat (LON:JE), which already offers this possibility.

The news sent JustEat shares downwards, with shares currently training at -7.51 as of 12.20PM (GMT).

The ambitious UK expansion plans will further fuel speculation that Deliveroo is increasingly looking towards launching an initial public offering (IPO).

Nevertheless, chief executive and founder, Will She, denied these claims during an interview with Bloomberg at the Viva Tech conference in Paris last month. 

Deliveroo are also currently in the midst of facing two legal challenges over the employment status of its drivers.

However, Mr Will She emphasised that its global fleet of drivers valued the flexibility of their role.

“Whatever we can do to preserve that flexibility is the most important thing to me. If we can work with the government, and governments around the world, to enable benefits alongside flexibility and end this alleged trade off between these two things; that is something I would strongly welcome,” he said.

Back in November last year, Deliveroo won a landmark legal battle to not be required to give its drivers holiday pay or a minimum wage.

The decision was made by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), who argued that Deliveroo drivers are self-employed rather than employees, in a boost to the so-called ‘gig economy’ that has facilitated the rise of apps such as Uber and Deliveroo in recent years.

The takeaway app is expected to receive one of its high court rulings this week.