As the ONS reports that a quarter (24%) of businesses have temporarily stopped trading as a result of the crisis, recipe box company Gousto has launched a new platform designed to connect food businesses with customers in their area.
Food Finder, the non-commercial directory, was built by Gousto’s in-house technology team in just ten days. The app tells shoppers which small businesses are offering food delivery services in their area during lockdown.
With ONS data showing that 81% of businesses in the accommodation and food services sector have temporarily closed or ceased trading, Food Finder allows users to input their postcode and view all of the deli’s, butchers, bakers, grocers and farm shops in their area that are delivering locally and nationwide.
Food Finder comes as Gousto secured a £33m funding round that will enable significant scaling and increased capacity for the future with launch of a second fulfilment centre, as well as accelerated innovation by expanding its 100-strong tech team in London.
In addition to the Food Finder directory, Gousto has launched a brand new Chosen by Gousto service. This lightweight version of the Gousto service is allowing over 5000 more homes to be fed each week while also supporting suppliers that are facing challenges in light of restaurant closures.
Gousto understands the heightened importance of a home-cooked meal and continues work to increase capacity from the one million meals being delivered to UK dinner tables every week.
Timo Boldt, CEO and founder of Gousto, says: “I’m immensely proud of the work that Gousto is doing to support the British economy during this challenging and unpredictable time.
“The team has leveraged our amazing technology capabilities in such a positive way, creating a service that not only supports independent businesses in the grocery industry but also helps to get more food to people in need across the UK.
“We’re fortunate to be in a position where we can support small businesses facing unprecedented difficulty, whilst working hard to increase our own capacity and get more recipe boxes delivered to those in need.”
Not only is there uncertainty around which businesses are still operating in local areas, many grocery businesses have quickly adapted their services to offer delivery for the first time, as they look to feed their local communities.
Louise Holme owns The Dorking Deli in Surrey and has recently registered for Food Finder. She says;
“The current lockdown is putting strain on many local food businesses. At The Dorking Deli, we have started offering fresh fruit, veg and grocery boxes for delivery and collection which have proven popular with customers.
“Food Finder will allow us to reach even more customers, not only helping us to prosper as an independent business but also helping even more vulnerable customers to get the produce that they need in this difficult time.”
Almost 200 businesses are now registered to Food Finder, across the UK. Visit https://foodfinderapp.co.uk/ for more information or follow the steps to register a business here: https://foodfinderapp.co.uk/business