CATERWINGS: Alexander Brunst
Having grown tired of the same sandwiches at a previous employer, this entrepreneur has set about to bring 'innovation' to the catering industry
Name: Alexander Brunst
Company Name: CATERWINGS
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 05/10/15
No. of employees: 28
Tell us what your business does:
CATERWINGS is the next generation marketplace for corporate food deliveries with an emphasis on convenience, flexibility and on-demand delivery.
Our internet platform helps you find the perfect catering service for your special occasion, in record time, with unparalleled adjustability.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
After eating the same sandwiches at my former employer for five years, I realized it was time for innovation to come to the catering industry.
Making it easy and fast to order food for a large number of people will change this industry for good.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Very simple. We went out and won our first customers, even before having a name. The huge demand we had in the first weeks, supports our notion that the time is right.
What were you doing before starting up?
After studying business management in Australia, Germany and the United States, I worked in consulting for some years and learned a lot about the business world.
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Then I did my PhD in entrepreneurship and got involved in a number of start-ups.
In my role at CATERWINGS, I benefit a lot from this previous experience.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
My parents are both entrepreneurs, so I grew up knowing what it means to run your own business.
It brings a lot of responsibilities.
I remember my dad always answering the phone, even on holidays.
On the other hand, building your own business and seeing it grow cannot be replaced by any corporate job.
How did you raise the money?
We were lucky enough to have one of the biggest Investors in Europe, Rocket Internet, support us right from the beginning.
Their experience and knowledge have been a great support right from day one.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We are a marketplace that connects businesses with the best restaurants and caterers to deliver delicious meals to them.
Our partners don’t have to pay any sign-up fee.
If a customer orders from us, we charge a commission in return for taking over customer acquisition, order handling and payment.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
In the early days, we had to learn a lot about the traffic in London and how to communicate best with our partners to ensure timely and complete deliveries for our customers.
By learning from each mistake, we have quickly managed to reach over 95% of deliveries on time and complete by now.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Winning that first customer on the phone in my first week in London will surely remain a special memory.
Also, our first caterer signed, delivery and many more moments will not be forgotten.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
If you feel a passion for entrepreneurship, stay on it no matter what.
There will be drawbacks and people will tell you to do something else.
But if you keep on it for long enough, you will be rewarded in the end.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
In five years, we want the name CATERWINGS to be as known in the corporate world as AMAZON is for consumer electronics.