Despite only launching three months ago, the new B2B arm of FoodByUs has achieved 65 per cent month-on-month growth, with its combination of technology, distribution logistics and online transparency winning over cafes and suppliers alike.
Throw in GPS tracking for deliveries and mobile ordering along with an integrated payment system, in addition to a rating system to maintain quality control over suppliers, and you have a ready-made disruptor for the foodservice industry.
“We couldn’t ignore the growing number of calls we were receiving from cafes,” says Ben Lipschitz, co-founder and managing director of FoodByUs.
Following the successful launch of their initial business to consumer arm the company has “solved a much harder problem without really meaning to”.
“When we applied it to the café side they loved the solution,” says Lipschitz.
“We had already worked out how to get food from many different suppliers, on the home based cooking side, to many different buyers.
“So the logistic side that we had to offer became a huge value add to the suppliers and the cafes. And then if you layer on top of that all of the online ordering, easy searching through new suppliers, it’s actually growing and growing.”
With seed investment from Macquarie Bank, the new B2B platform was simply a good idea waiting to happen.
“We were really surprised when we started digging deeper into the dynamics of the [foodservice] industry how certain things were being done from a supplier and buyer point of view,” he says.
“Things such a pre-defined routes of delivery, where perhaps a delivery might only be every second Tuesday. Even how ordering was done, with phone and fax and email, all these ways of collecting the orders, and we thought ‘why isn’t anyone building an open marketplace around this sort of stuff?”
The changing face of the café sector was also important, with operators forced to find new ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
“No one was out there saying ‘we have vegan donuts or colourful croissants or whatever’ to really help cafes get what they want when they want,” he says.
“Three months ago started to get enough calls from cafes looking for some of these high end suppliers [from our consumer side] that we decided to give it a go.
“The technology was mostly there, but more to the point was we put feet on the ground with a dedicated sales team actually going and meeting these cafes. That was the game changer for us. The technology helps everyone get to where they want a little easier but there is no substitute for being able to meet someone, see the venue and see the vibe and offer the products accordingly.”