As the development of the food industry in London undergoes a revolution of sorts, it’s clear that entrepreneurs are responding to the challenge ahead. Whether it’s the need to deliver to the last mile or providing access to commercial kitchens in a flexible way that hasn’t been possible before, there’s a seismic shift happening in the food industry.
Here are three companies that are changing the food business in London in different ways.
Commercial Kitchens on Demand
Whether you’re a food producer or in need to provide catering for a large party, you might not have a kitchen large enough to support your goals. Enter FoodStars. Renting a commercial kitchen for a limited period of time was near impossible in the London area before the FoodStars’ co-founders saw a need to fill. With the burgeoning number of online food startups looking for a new place as their home kitchens overflowed with orders, renting a kitchen on a short or long-term basis became an ideal solution that didn’t exist before.
Startups like Gym Food catering to health food enthusiasts, and caterer Dayan & Webb, both saw the benefits in the FoodStars business model and jumped on-board as their first two members. Other foodie startups who knew finding and securing a commercial kitchen was no easy task soon followed. Sure, renting a desk for a month is now possible, but kitchen space in London, not so much. Now you can.
So, what do you want to cook today?
Last Mile Delivery in London
Quiqup is a delivery startup that began life in London in 2014 as a way for businesses to have goods delivered throughout London within a few hours. The initial focus was on proving a convenient food pickup and delivery service for food businesses that lack a way to get their perishable product into the hands of their customers quickly.
The company recently completed a £20m Series B round of venture capital funding to expand into further cities in the UK and began looking internationally too. Quiqip uses their Quiqdash web app, which allows retailers to place orders and schedule deliveries. Alternatively, the company provides access to an API to help websites tie directly into their pickup and delivery system without the need for human interaction during the ordering process.
Among the early adopters are over 25 Burger King restaurants, enabling a Double Whopper meal to be collected and delivered to hungry consumers, and Whole Foods who solely use Quiqup for fast deliveries in the London area. Florists and chemists are the next arena that the company is focused on.
When There’s No Food Delivery Option, Make One
Companies like Just Eat and UberEats offer food collection and delivery services for restaurants that lack the transportation infrastructure. The common denominator with these companies is that they collect from restaurants that already prepare meals for delivery. With Deliveroo, which was founded in 2013, they will collect from restaurants that don’t offer any take-away service at all.
The company has grown at a rapid pace. It recently raised £210m and is rumoured to be close to taking on a sizable investment from SoftBank too. No small fish, the startup is already present in 84 cities across the UK and runs delivery operations in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.
It’s clear that food is changing. No matter how you buy and consume it, food is being made available faster and more conveniently than ever before. In the impatient, nanosecond world we live in now, that’s probably a good thing too.