We are not new to the concept of food delivery companies in Oxford; so what’s so new and exciting about Foodstuff? Well, a couple of things in particular, but let’s discuss how it started first.
The hospitality industry didn’t have much to celebrate over lockdown; with doors closed, delivery was the way forward. Enter Toby and James, two foodies with a passion for cycling. Toby and James jumped on their bikes to support local independent restaurants, delivering their food to residents in and around Cambridge.
Fast-forward a couple of months and Foodstuff was born. A bicycle only delivery business, that puts independent restaurants first. Charging flat commission structures and paying riders a fair wage. What’s not to like?
After starting in Cambridge, Foodstuff launched in indie food hubs Bristol, Manchester and Bath. The business now supports around 90 independent vendors, with circa 200 riders. Founder Toby said:
The reception we’ve had has been unreal with over 30k orders so far, but we knew we had to grow to make a real difference to the industry. Foodstuff is more than just a food delivery service, it’s a community of riders, restaurants and food lovers, and we really feel that our model will resonate in Oxford. Foodstuff rebels against the usual food delivery model, ditching high commissions in favour of a simple subscription model with the aim of keeping more profits in the pockets of the restaurants. We’re also proud to say there will never be any petrol powered vehicles in our fleet.
I spoke with Charlie, Foodstuff’s Vendor Manager, and felt the sense of ‘rider first’ mentality really comes through. Their riders are paid the National Living Wage, but really this acts as a safety net. For instance; if a rider only manages one delivery, they are still paid the hourly wage. This stops the pressure on riders having to meet delivery quotas just to earn minimum wage. Riders are ‘front of house staff’ rather than just dropping off orders. This way of thinking helps build relationships with their vendors and customers. Looking after riders isn’t just about money; rider insurance, holiday pay, as well as takeaway vouchers, are just a few perks.
Charlie’s passion for food, and desire to explore Oxford to find the best restaurants, was great to see. And as the delivery business only works with independent businesses, there’s no competing with big chains.
So in answer to my first question – what is so new and exciting about Foodstuff? They put independents businesses and riders first. And those are not insignificant things.
Foodstuff will be launching imminently, with the team working hard to bring in local independent vendors, as well as riders to support. The plan is to launch with around 10 restaurants initially, with an anticipated 40-50 longer term. Showcasing the best of Oxford indies is at the forefront of the business. Current vendors come from local customer recommendations in their other locations. This will be constantly reviewed to truly support the best of local.
Don’t worry about delivery times, as vendors will be within a 2-mile radius of Oxford – good for riders as well as customers. And as with most delivery services, placing an order is easily carried out online, currently through their website, but with an app coming soon. We can’t wait to try it out, and support more brilliant independent Oxford restaurants.
Keep an eye on our socials and theirs, for offers and competitions! Will you be giving it a try? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re interested in joining as a rider, or want to become a vendor, check out the links below.