Takeaway giant Just Eat will employ 1,500 people in a new North East customer service site as it brings jobs back from India and Bulgaria.
The business said that it would invest £100 million in the region over the next five years, with staff working partly from home and partly from its new Sunderland-based office.
UK managing director Andrew Kenny said that the company would shoulder the extra cost of bringing the staff in-house because it allowed Just Eat to provide better service.
Much of its customer service had been run from Bulgaria and India, but bosses have already seen an increase in customer satisfaction among those who dealt with the 300 people already hired in Sunderland.
“Our experience of operating this model across numerous other geographies around the world, shows that the overall service that we provide to both our customers and restaurants increases very meaningfully,” he said.
“We’re already seeing a very material increase in customer satisfaction scores from the agents that we already have in Sunderland.”
Bringing the jobs into the company will also allow Just Eat to respond more quickly to feedback and patterns, he said.
The workers who join Just Eat in the North East will enter a hybrid model, where they spend time working both from home and in the office.
“We absolutely believe in the role that the office environment plays in our culture and in driving innovation as we move forward,” Mr Kenny said.
“But equally, we don’t want to move fully away from some of the more positive aspects that working from home has brought to people’s personal lives and family lives.”
The office is 20,000 square metres and was formerly occupied by Npower in Houghton le Spring, Sunderland.
Just Eat is upgrading the site with a gym, catering area and a lounge.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re thrilled to have supported Just Eat to make its move to Sunderland, joining a dynamic business community and creating jobs and opportunities for people across the city.
“We’re very proud of what Sunderland offers as a place to do business, and it is vindication of that offer when brands like Just Eat are drawn to the city.”