The co-founder of Just Eat has been made the government’s new “cost of living business tsar”.

David Buttress, the former chief executive of the takeaway delivery app, will work in a new unpaid government role to assist companies in developing schemes to help people struggling with rising prices.

Buttress built Just Eat UK into a platform allowing customers to order restaurant and takeaway food while taking commission from the outlets. The food would then be delivered by the restaurants’ own delivery drivers or third party couriers, some of whom are employed in the gig economy.

After Buttress left the role in 2017, Just Eat expanded to hire some of its own delivery drivers – either on contract with employment rights or as a gig economy worker earning for each delivery made.

Buttress is now chair of the Dragons Rugby club in Newport and a venture partner at 83North, which invests in another food delivery company, Hungry Panda.

The government said Buttress would join Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, at a meeting with supermarkets and sport organisations to discussholiday activities and the food programme – a scheme to help children on free school meals avoid holiday hunger.

Announcing the appointment, Steve Barclay, Boris Johnson’s chief of staff, said Buttress would bring a “wealth of experience” and the “vigour and ingenuity of business” to the role.

“Businesses and organisations across the country have stepped up time and time again when the nation needs it most. The financial pressures people are facing as a result of current global challenges will be no different,” he said.