Wagamama becomes latest restaurant chain to restart delivery

Wagamama is to reopen its kitchens to deliver food to customers’ homes from Thursday.

The pan-Asian restaurant chain has said it will start delivering food from its Peckham and Hackney kitchens through Deliveroo after closing its restaurants last month in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

It said these openings will be followed by its other delivery kitchen sites – which are standalone kitchens away from restaurants – in Bow and Leeds.

The chain said it hopes to learn more about operational changes needed before it reopens its restaurant kitchens across the country.

The move comes a week after it started testing “new operational practices” at the site in Peckham, where it produced 1,000 meals for NHS frontline workers.

Vegan ramen
The chain reopened its Peckham delivery kitchen last week to produce food for NHS workers (Wagamama/PA)

Earlier on Tuesday, Nando’s revealed it is reopening six of its restaurant kitchens for delivery only as dining chains look to restart their operations.

Wagamama said it has a devised a schedule to allow staff to “slowly return to delivery-only work at their own discretion” as part of the phased opening programme.

Emma Woods, chief executive officer of Wagamama, said: “We have made the decision to start a phased re-opening for delivery, with the initial opening of our delivery kitchens.

“We have taken medical advice on how we keep our teams safe in a kitchen environment from a doctor who advises on health and safety in challenging operating environments, including previous experience in the cruise industry.

“This will be very much a test-and-learn approach for the business and roll-out depends on team and customer feedback.”

wok from home. week four. let’s go 👊–this week we’re bringing you two of the most requested dishes on wok from home –wednesday | chicken + prawn yaki soba with a street food twist friday | bang bang cauliflower 🔥–see you wednesday at 6pm pic.twitter.com/JXnNfcERZk

— wagamama uk (@wagamama_uk) April 26, 2020

It said it has formulated protocols for staff to work safely after working with Dr Kate Bunyan.

“I have been working with Wagamama over the last few weeks to introduce new safety protocols, so their teams can feel safe, whilst providing the important service of food preparation for delivery,” Dr Bunyan said.

“These now include the mandatory use of health questionnaires before every shift, no contact with delivery riders and increased frequency of hygiene regimes.”

After lockdown restrictions were introduced, Wagamama launched Wok From Home, a free video series teaching people to cook some of its most popular dishes, such as chicken katsu curry, from home.

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