Swiss-headquartered Foodetective was first established in 2018 as an online restaurant directory.
Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the platform is expanding its services to enable food delivery across Europe and the US. Unlike other businesses specialising in this area, however, Foodetective is commission-free, co-founder and CEO Andrea Tassistro told FoodNavigator.
How does it work?
Foodetective partners with large and medium-size restaurants, as well as food and beverage services, to create an ‘on-demand restaurant network’.
These food and beverage players – located across Europe, including in major cities Geneva, London and Berlin – can opt to participate Foodetective’s online delivery service.
Unlike the major players in online food delivery in London, for example, such as Deliveroo, Just Eat, or Uber Eats, Foodetective does not employ delivery staff itself. Rather, the platform partners with courier companies such as Stuart and Velocity, who ‘take the relay’ and deliver the food, explained Tassistro.
As a result, Foodetective’s competitors are more likely to be software-only services, such as Ireland-headquartered Flipdish. “They offer a pretty similar ordering system,” Tassistro explained. “The only difference is that they’re not a platform.”
Instead of competing with delivery operators, Foodetective sees opportunity to work with a business such as Deliveroo. “We can integrate their orders into our aggregate orders management tool, so that a restaurant can get everything into the same platform.”
A commission-free model
Foodetective initially launched its delivery service with a monthly fee and a 2% commission on each order.
However, given the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the restaurant and takeaway sectors, the business has remodelled its monetisation strategy – asking participating businesses to pay a £25 (€28) monthly subscription fee instead.
This strategy will come as a welcome reprieve for restaurants, the CEO suggested. Countries in ‘lockdown’, such as the UK, France, Italy and Spain, have forced the closure of restaurants and cafes, although in many instances, delivery remains available.
“Life as we know it has drastically changed. No one really knows when this will end and when life will return to normal,” said Tassistro.
“Many restaurants have closed their dining rooms and don’t have a system for online menus and ordering. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to use our platform – no ongoing commitments or obligations required.
“We want to help them continue to operate, remain profitable and stay afloat during this challenging time.”
When ordering, customers pay the exact price found on the restaurant menu and businesses receive 100% of the sales. Foodetective is therefore ‘transparent’, said Tassistro, with ‘no additional fees for customers or restaurants’.
“From fresh food to DIY pizza kits you can pick up curbside, to a morning cup of joe from your neighbourhood coffee shop delivered to your doorstep, restaurants and shops are having to quickly reinvent themselves and their offerings to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances.
“We will get through this difficult time, but must work together and support each other” – Andrea Tassistro, Foodetective co-founder and CEO