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Join the ‘Buy Direct Revolution’ and help us create a more local world where independent restaurants and takeaways can thrive

25/03/21

I am sold already, take me to the pre-registration page…

Most consumers don’t realise that their favourite local restaurant or takeaway could actually earn more money by serving fewer customers.

But that’s the reality of today’s status quo in the takeaway and delivery industry. A market that is dominated by an oligopoly consisting of the ‘Big Three’ third-party restaurant aggregators – Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat.

The Big Three claim to offer a lifeline to restaurants and takeaways, particularly during a pandemic that has seen the entire hospitality industry closed to all trade other than delivery or collection.

You’d be hard-pressed though to find a restaurant owner who says you can make money by using the third-party aggregators, with growing complaints that high commissions taken by the apps make it difficult to make money from delivery alone.

Commission rates for Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat are typically as high as 30-35 percent (they charge a lower commission at roughly 14 percent if restaurants deliver orders themselves).

This means that for smaller businesses where cashflow is everything, delivery apps extract a heavy toll, especially given they typically hold onto the sales revenue for a couple of weeks before releasing it to the eatery.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Most consumers don’t realise that their favourite local restaurant or takeaway could actually earn more money by serving fewer customers.

But that’s the reality of today’s status quo in the takeaway and delivery industry. A market that is dominated by an oligopoly consisting of the ‘Big Three’ third-party restaurant aggregators – Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat.

The Big Three claim to offer a lifeline to restaurants and takeaways, particularly during a pandemic that has seen the entire hospitality industry closed to all trade other than delivery or collection.

You’d be hard-pressed though to find a restaurant owner who says you can make money by using the third-party aggregators, with growing complaints that high commissions taken by the apps make it difficult to make money from delivery alone.

Commission rates for Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat are typically as high as 30-35 percent (they charge a lower commission at roughly 14 percent if restaurants deliver orders themselves).

This means that for smaller businesses where cashflow is everything, delivery apps extract a heavy toll, especially given they typically hold onto the sales revenue for a couple of weeks before releasing it to the eatery.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

That’s why I’m excited to reveal my new venture:

Gravyy, the zero commission food ordering platform for independent restaurants and takeaways. We help grow your business by earning better margins on the food you make and sell for delivery or collection.

With Gravyy, it’s all good.

For seven years I poured my heart and soul into NY Slice, the New York pizza brand I created and brought to life in Glasgow. The vision was a national roll-out. An outlet in every city in the UK, serving delicious NY-style pizza by the slice.

But in less than 12 months, it was gone. The dream was dead; clobbered by a series of events that were a combination of terrible luck and exorbitant commission charges.

First up, a huge fire at the Glasgow School of Art across the road closed us down for 12 months for ‘safety reasons’ (there’s a whole other story to tell there!), followed swiftly by a global pandemic that made operating conditions virtually impossible and completely upended the restaurant and hospitality landscape.

Like all eateries across the UK, COVID lockdowns meant switching 100 percent to delivery or collection only. We were lucky, or so we thought, in that we were a previously thriving business and had a large and loyal customer base. To put it in plain English, we were a well-run, profitable and sustainable business.

But then reality kicked in. Quite simply, by switching fully to delivery and having to use platforms like Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat, we were unable to make a decent margin on the food we made.

Over the past five years, the total commission paid by NY Slice to the Big Three would have enabled us to open another two NY Slice delivery joints. With Gravyy we want to ensure no business owner has to make that compromise again.

The situation is really quite straightforward. On a typical £20 food order, an outlet should expect to make around £11.11 gross profit if they sell directly to the customer (once VAT and cost of goods sold are accounted for). 

If we take Deliveroo as an example, it charges £7.00 commission on that same £20 order, reducing the outlet’s gross profit to just £4.11.

That means the outlet needs to sell nearly three times (!) the volume of orders (270) to make the same gross profit as 100 orders that customers buy directly from the outlet. Right now, restaurants and takeaways are having to work three times harder than they need to in order to make the same margin!

How Gravyy works

We are leading the charge, making the food delivery ecosystem fair and equitable for all. We’re calling for an end to the Big Three’s gravy train, where they profit from the hard work of others, whilst independent restaurants and takeaways struggle to grow or survive.

Gravyy’s zero commission (forever), fixed-fee subscription model means all revenue goes directly to the eatery and stays in the local economy, supporting job creation and the community.

We also only make money when our partners make money. We won’t charge a subscription fee until the eateries take a minimum of £100 revenue each week through the Gravyy marketplace.

Gravyy truly is the place to ‘order your food direct’. Our model will support EVERY SINGLE restaurant and takeaway that wants to sell directly to their customers. 

For restaurants:

  1. We will always have a free listing option meaning EVERY business can feature on Gravyy and have access to our marketplace. The free listing service provides direct contact details and links for consumers to order directly with their favourite eatery. We’re determined to create a more local world where all restaurants and takeaways can thrive. 

  2. Gravyy partners benefit from a similar service and functionality provided by the ‘Big Three’. Orders and payments are placed via Gravyy and sent to the food outlets. Updates on order progress, delivery tracking etc. are provided to the customer via the Gravyy app or website. The difference? The food outlet keeps 100 percent of the gross margin! 

For consumers:

We are building the world’s largest directory of businesses who sell directly to consumers, cutting out third-party aggregators such as the ‘Big Three’, enabling people to enjoy great food and support their local independent eateries at the same time!

Here are a few things we believe:

Equity for all

We strive to create better financial opportunities for our local customer partners. Building a fairer and more equitable food delivery and collection ecosystem sits at the heart of our business. We’re determined to build a business model that properly rewards restaurants and takeaways for their creativity and hard work. Our customers will be a big part of our success so we believe in offering the opportunity to co-own our business – that’s why we’re crowdfunding. Pre-register here.

Partners over profit

We build win-win relationships and view customers as partners, sharing in our successes together. We treat them with respect, fairness and integrity. We will always be completely transparent about our pricing models and promise to never charge a commission on the food ordered through our platform.

Community-first thinking

We believe communities have the power to change the world for the better. We serve and support a local experience, enabling independent restaurants and takeaways on every high street and in every community to thrive. We’re not just acquiring customers, we’re recruiting our very own community of customer advocates who are part-owners of our business.

Satisfy and delight

Our customers are the lifeblood of our business and the local communities they serve. They are our most important stakeholder and we strive to meet or exceed their expectations every single day and through every single food order. 

Local, independent businesses provide the economic and societal support required for communities to thrive, creating real, local jobs, putting money straight back into the local economy. By supporting our local high streets, our local economies and local communities can thrive, making our villages, towns and cities a better place to live, work and visit. 

By changing the way our customers run their takeaway and delivery business, we can help them to build a new future for themselves. Together with our customers, we are forging a new future for the sector – one that is fairer, more equitable and with a better distribution of profits at a local level. 

As consumers, by ordering directly from restaurants and takeaways rather than through the ‘Big Three’ third-party aggregators, we can all support our local, independent businesses, helping them to earn a fair margin on the amazing food they make and sell. This is the ‘Buy Direct Revolution’. Come join us!

You can pre-register for our crowdfund on Crowdcube here.

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