Deliveroo riders boycotted Wagamama last week - and they could do so again in future


By Benjamin Salmon, Deputy News Editor

Long waiting times at the chain and a dispute over pay prompted the riders to take action.

Hungry students may have been waiting longer for their katsu curry last week after Deliveroo riders in Bristol staged a boycott on Wagamama orders from restaurants in the city.

More than 80 riders participated in the protest – which took place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – over the length of time drivers have to wait for orders at the popular Japanese chain.

'We all dread the waiting time at Wagamama'

The organisers, led by Brazilian rider Joseph Nunes, argue that the 25-minute wait time is too long, during which they are simply not paid.

Nunes said: ‘We all dread the waiting time at Wagamama. It is not fair on the riders.’

With longer waiting times, there are fewer deliveries the riders can make each day

Recent pay cuts at Deliveroo, have seen riders like Joseph make only £6 an hour after taking into account moped maintenance, insurance and petrol.

Speaking to the Bristol Post, Nunes described working 12-hour days to make ends meet, going as far as calling the situation a form of ‘slavery’.

He justified the protests, saying that considering most riders in the city took part in the boycott, Wagamama lost orders and  business.

There are calls to carry on the boycotts. Unsplash / Ross Sneddon

Owing to the perceived success of the protest, Nunes made clear that the riders would be willing to stage industrial action again in the future.

The pay cuts Deliveroo made over the summer, as well as concerns over rider safety in areas of Bristol, prompted a similar strike last month in which over 100 riders protested through the city.

A spokesman for Deliveroo said the company ‘works closely with our restaurant partners and the riders we work with to make sure we have an efficient and reliable service.’

Deliveroo has recently made changes to rider fees so riders are paid more for longer distance deliveries and wait times at restaurants are taken in to consideration when calculating how much riders are paid.’

Featured image credit: Epigram / Benjamin Salmon

Were you affected by the boycott? Do you think the drivers are right to take action?