Ex-Menulog execs bank $10m as they look to shake up restaurants again

Ex-Menulog execs bank $10m as they look to shake up restaurants again
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Late last year celebrity chef Shane Delia also launched a high-end restaurant and food online marketplace called Providoor, targeting home deliveries.

FoodByUs, which connects restaurants, cafes and caterers with hundreds of wholesale food and alcohol suppliers, has integrated with accounting software Xero, giving businesses visibility over their cost reporting, digital issue resolution and invoicing.

“The room for error was huge before,” Mr Lipschitz said.

“Restaurants were picking up the phone every night, or texting, or faxing, or even just leaving a message with a supplier at 11 o’clock at night hoping their order was received and was delivered the next day without too many issues.”

Saying they took many lessons from their time at Menulog, which sold to British conglomerate Just Eat in 2015 for $855 million, the FoodByUs team developed a criteria for food suppliers to list on the marketplace.

“We knew from MenuLog that users didn’t want to come on and see 50,000 different offerings, it was too overwhelming, so we kept numbers limited to just the procurement needs of restaurants,” Mr Lipschitz said.

“When chefs start asking us why they couldn’t buy alcohol or something via our marketplace, we knew we were doing something right.”

After signing up suppliers, the team began touring around restaurants showing chefs and venue-managers the marketplace which now boasts more than 1000 customers across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The rapid growth, and real-time feedback was enough for the team to tap Macquarie Capital, which previously tipped in $500,000 in 2016 when FoodByUs was trialling a home food delivery model.

Its latest funding round also includes money from New York-based F J Labs, which specialises in marketplace investing, and also recently tipped in investment to Send, an Australian inner-city supermarket chain that promises 15 minute grocery deliveries.

“They speak our language and all the metrics they look at, we’re looking at, and they have a very deep portfolio of businesses we can also learn from,” Mr Lipschitz said.

He said FoodByUs ultimately aims to expand to become a “one-stop shop” for hospitality procurement, connecting suppliers of anything from furniture to kitchenware with busy restaurants.

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