‘Every superhero needs a side kick’: the UK launch of Task Rabbit

Task Rabbit boxThe downside of a lovely holiday is coming back to everyday life with a bump. Christmas is around the corner, which means fun and family time but also a ‘to do and to buy’ list longer than Scrip’s Christmas stocking. I did some shopping before I went – and felt smug

ordering her main present back in November, ready gift wrapped – but, I now realise, not enough. I have more to do than time to do it in – which is where Task Rabbit comes in.

I went to the launch of this new service at the end of November – and it was one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments. Task Rabbit is a brilliantly simple idea which lets people pay completely vetted ‘taskers’ an hourly rate to run errands for them – everything from buying and gift wrapping presents (could come in handy) to putting up flat pack furniture to giving your home a spring clean. It’s taken the US by storm – just five years after launch there are 20,000 ‘taskers’ in 19 cities. And now they’re branching out into London.

We met one of the ladies at the top – who has a little girl just slightly older than Scrip – and some of the taskers on the night. They’re particularly keen to tell parents about the new service – their research has found that almost 80% of Brits with children wish they had more time in the day, which I can well believe. They’re also keen that using Task Rabbit to complete tasks you’d struggle to do is seen as an empowering choice rather than adding to the mountain of guilt mothers already feel. I particularly like their strapline – ‘every superhero needs a side kick’.

Task Rabbit screengrabWe talked a lot about the tasker vetting process – which is really extensive – and about the logistics. You sign up online and then select the appropriate task category. From there you are shown profiles of the taskers suitable for the task, reviews of each of them and their hourly rate. Taskers set these themselves and they range from £12 to about £30 depending on the job in hand. Once you’ve posted your description, they have a certain amount of time to respond and you can then chat to them directly online or on a smartphone, about the finer details.

I love the idea – an affordable, occasional concierge service – and I’ll definitely be trying it out very soon. I just need to finish writing my to do list first.


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