In more restaurant news that takes diners out of restaurants, Supper is crowdfunding. The London delivery service that promises to bring some of the capital’s most refined food direct to the sofa is seeking £500,000 to boost its marketing and development activities, as reported by Big Hospitality.
Having already received £300,000 in investment earlier this year from The Barworks Group, founder Peter Georgiou and his team are making strides towards cementing Supper’s place in an increasingly saturated delivery market, albeit in a less contested niche than the fast-casual/mid-market chasm currently filled by the likes of Deliveroo and Just Eat.
The company has spent many thousands of pounds on specialised scooters to transport up to 20 meals around London without compromising their serving quality — this goes far beyond the scope of the standard moped used by the likes of Deliveroo or Just Eat, but with Supper only delivering to Zone 1, the closed nature of their market is more than culinary. Restaurants on the platform include Michelin-starred Tamarind, Homeslice, Mac & Wild, and Barshu, with Supper working closely with kitchens to determine which of their dishes will or will not travel well.
Founded in 2015, Supper was inspired by Georgiou’s experiences in New York, where he saw a thriving delivery market with incredible scope: whatever people wanted, they could order — whether it was a casual takeout pizza or a Michelin-level dish. The former trader arrived in London and, anecdotally, was surprised not to be able to order from Nobu. Nobu is not available on Supper.
While Deliveroo’s expansion goes beyond funding with future-forward pop-ups and (at times illegal) delivery-only kitchens while Just Eat’s revenues rise on a steep curve, Supper’s current ambitions appear to go no further than those of an early-stage start-up, despite Deliveroo being founded just two years prior. It remains to be seen just how far the idea of transporting fine-dining experiences outside of the rooms that so inform them can go, and it’s especially striking that an organisation limited to Zone 1, backed by a former trader and in recent receipt of direct investment is choosing to crowdfund, rather than going down the Angel or VC route. In appealing to the public for advocacy with a premium, niche product while seeking a windfall dwarfed by their competitors’ fundraising efforts, questions have to be asked about the real scope for growth. This is a function of each platform operating in different markets, to be sure; with high-end restaurants appearing the most impervious to Brexit’s bite, the question is whether Supper are filling a need that isn’t really there, and whether their aforementioned ambitions have already reached their limit.