Fair pay, low fees, no chains: Manchester’s new food delivery service launches this weekend

"The delivery industry hasn't always treated independent restaurants and riders too kindly, so we're here to flip that on it's head!"

A new food delivery service in launching in Manchester this weekend – promising to be an alternative to the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Launching in Manchester on May 15, Foodstuff is a new delivery platform which lists independent restaurants and traders only.

Foodstuff first launched in Cambridge during the first lockdown by two friends, Toby and James.

The service is fully operated on bikes, meaning it is zero carbon. Foodstuff also pride themselves on their rider welfare with fair pay for riders, as well as lower fees for their partner restaurants.

Foodstuff launched in Bristol in March

We’ve spoken before about the challenges for restaurants when working with online delivery platforms. Foodstuff was launched to provide restaurants with an alternative to these big apps, with lower fees and a non-commission based system.

“Restaurants are desperate for an alternative,” says co-founder Toby.

“The delivery industry hasn’t always treated independent restaurants and riders too kindly, so we’re here to flip that on it’s head!”

Instead of the commission-based system used by Deliveroo and Uber Eats, Foodstuff charges restaurants a flat fee per month for using the platform. Then, once the order comes in, 100% of the cost of the food goes to the restaurant, and the full delivery fee goes to the rider.

The monthly fees are worked out on a tiered system, starting from £150 per month, which works out at as equivalent of 15% of the revenue from orders, compared to the 30-35% commission rate taken when delivered through Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

Toby and James, founders of Foodstuff

James is from Cambridge but Toby, originally from London, lived in a van outside James’ house during the first lockdown while they launched the platform.

They started out with five restaurants which quickly grew to 10, 20, 30 restaurants. They then opened in their second city – Bristol – in March. Since then, they have taken 18,000 orders for restaurants.

Manchester will be the third location for the platform and will be the largest city that Foodstuff has worked in so far. Toby says:

“We earmarked Manchester as the food capital of the north, the indie mecca if you like. After being so successful in Bristol it gave us confidence we could take on a bigger city and we can’t wait to get started.

“We also know how fiercely independent and proud the people of Manchester are and we couldn’t help be a part of that.”

Each of the restaurants is vetted and tested before joining the platform. The owners are keen to make sure that Foodstuff is filled with quality independents. Chains like Greggs and Pret A Manger have approached them to join the platform but they have been turned away.

Restaurants already signed up in Manchester include Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, I Knead Pizza, Bab, V Rev, Caribbean Cookout, 9 Cut Chicken, Bundobust, CBRB, South Manny Flavaz, Just Frango, Burgers on Tour, Hip Hop Chip Shop and Moose Coffee.

Some of the Hatch street food traders are signed up to take part too including Parmogeddon and Mor Mor.

Foodstuff works with independents only

No longer living in a van outside James’ house, Toby is moving up to Manchester for the launch of the platform where he will be looking to hire a city manager who will look after the city and eventually the region. Once this person is in place, there will be more roles available at Foodstuff too.

Foodstuff is launching in Manchester on Saturday 15 May.

Any restaurants who would like to get involved can sign up to the platform via the website, or can DM Foodstuff via Instagram : instagram.com/foodstuffmcr.

Once live, orders can be placed through their website: wearefoodstuff.co.uk.

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