The head of one of the largest food delivery platforms in the world told the BBC he intends to end the concert by working at his company across Europe.
Jitse Groen, who runs Just Eat Takeaway, says she would prefer to run her business with people who get benefits and more protection in the workplace.
It’s the model he used in the Takeaway.com part of the company he founded 20 years ago.
Gig employees have flexible hours but don’t normally have benefits like holidays.
In many industries, the coronavirus has made incomes more unstable for these workers as companies seek to reduce discretionary spending.
Asked if the pandemic had made him more sensitive to the difficulties facing gig workers, Groen said: “It is our intention not to have them in Europe.”
He said he didn’t like the people his company relies on to deliver food from restaurants to endure tougher working conditions.
“We are a large multinational company with a lot of money and we want to insure our people,” he said. “We want to make sure they have the benefits, that we pay taxes on those workers.”
Those workers have at least been busy since the coronavirus lockdowns across Europe began.
In the company’s three largest European markets – the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – orders increased 34% to 149 million in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2019.
Two huge mergers mean Just Eat Takeaway will become the largest food delivery company in the world outside of China.
A $ 7.3 billion deal with US rival Grubhub was announced in June, while Groen-founded Takeaway completed a £ 5.9 billion deal for UK-based Just Eat in January.
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Mr. Groen says demand for his companies’ services recovered from an initial drop when Europe first entered the block, leading to a 30% drop in revenue.
“What we saw in March is that our income actually went down, because people were hoarding food in supermarkets and were basically surrounded by a lot of food and so there was no need to order online,” he said.
However, eating habits have changed since then, with millions of people ordering food because they were unable to visit restaurants.
Mr. Groen said: “If you are locked up in your house for two weeks, then you also want to eat something else, and so we have seen an increase in demand from April onwards.
“And now we are actually growing much faster than we expected.”
The deal with Grubhub means that growth will accelerate further, giving Groen more to digest at a time when many companies are putting off expansion plans due to the pandemic.
He said the merger was “a logical thing” and while he wished he had more time between that deal and the Just Eat one, he said, “Let’s be realistic, it probably wouldn’t have been possible in two years.”
In the first six months of this year, Grubhub, which operates in 4,000 cities in the United States, received an average of 581,700 orders per day.
This could mean that Mr. Groen is hiring a lot more staff. Right now, freelance couriers bring those meals from restaurants to customers.
He says: “We are still evaluating, for example, Canada and of course we will have to look to the United States later on.”
But that doesn’t mean that riders will necessarily lose the flexibility that many enjoy and that some use to increase the salaries they get from a main job.
Mr. Groen says there may be room to maintain the freelance model in some countries if it is possible to pay insurance for them, but said: “It is our intention to make the quality of life for these people much better than what could be. now. “
you can watch The complete interview with Jitse Groen on Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst on BBC World News Saturday 23:30 GMT, Sunday 16:30 GMT, Monday 06:30 GMT and 13:30 GMT, Tuesday 05:30 GMT and 11:30 GMT.