No chairs or tables to accommodate physical customers. In restaurants in Taster, cooks are busy only preparing food for home delivery. The young French push, launched in 2017, belongs to the new generation ofghost kitchens ". These ghost restaurants are born to meet the growing demand for home delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
"With the multiplication of delivery platforms, I realized that this market had enormous potential," says Anton Soulier, founder and CEO of Taster, former executive vice president of Deliveroo France. "The catering has not yet adapted to this new trend of delivery: the quality of the dishes is not homogeneous, the organization of the kitchens and the packaging have not been adapted …", list-t -he.
To position itself in this market, Taster is developing restaurant brands based on delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. She currently owns three brands – Mission Saigon, O Ke Kai and Out Fry. The startup announced Thursday an $ 8 million fundraiser from the US fund Battery Ventures, which is entering the capital. Its historical investors – Heartcore Capital, LocalGlobe, Global Founders Capital and Marc Menasé (Founders Future) – have also returned to the pot. The startup had already raised $ 5.1 million since its inception.
Anticipate orders thanks to machine learning
With this fresh money, the startup wants to improve its technology "automation of operations" by recruiting a dozen tech profiles by 2020. Currently, Taster employs 115 employees – including 100 cooks. "Thanks to technology, we can streamline processes in the kitchen to prepare meals faster than traditional catering, for example, we integrate kitchen display systems into kitchens to divide tasks by shift.", details Anton Soulier.
The startup mainly develops an algorithm for forecasting orders by kitchen, by day and by brand.
"This technology is achieved through machine learning on the history of orders made for two years.In catering, a major financial challenge is the price of raw materials.Our algorithm allows us to order at the fair to avoid unnecessary expenses and food waste ", says the CEO.
400,000 cooked meals since 2017
Taster is working on a two-kilometer delivery radius around his kitchens to promise a 20-minute delay between ordering and delivery. "Our low preparation time favors a good customer experience because the dish arrives hot and fast, which allows us to be well-rated on platforms like Deliveroo and therefore, to be put forward", details Anton Soulier.
That's why the startup is looking to expand coverage of its current markets – Paris, London and Madrid. "In London, we cover about 30% of the capital, against 80% for Paris", says the founder, Taster has a total of 11 kitchens in these three markets, including five in Paris, where it seeks to double that number."The goal with opening a new kitchen is to be profitable within six months ", says Anton Soulier. The startup says it is interested in "secondary cities in France and England from 2020". The company does not communicate on its turnover, but it claims a "monthly growth of 30%" having cooked a total of 400,000 meals for these three markets. With this new round, Taster wants to open three new brands by the end of 2019.