People’s Champion finalist 2017: EatFirst

Could the London-based delivery platform for premium quality gourmet meals be your Startups Awards People’ Champion 2017?

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Start-up name: EatFirst
Founder: Rahul Parekh and Benn Hodges
Started in: 2014
Based in: London
Business description: Online-only restaurant delivering gourmet meals

Shortlisted categories:

Retail Business of the Year, Venture Funded Business of the Year, Innovative Business of the Year

The EatFirst story:

Frustrated with the poor experience of takeaway food in the City, Rahul Parekh set out to start a food business that would create “innovative food experiences”, specially designed for delivery, to give time-poor people a real alternative for their weeknight dinners.

To achieve this, Parekh partnered with award-winning chef Ben Hodges – who has years of experience running top-end Asian restaurants such as Roka in London – to launch EatFirst, a premium online restaurant that creates healthy, quality meals for delivery.

Initially, the company’s business model centred on delivering food within 10 minutes of the customer making an order but, despite hitting orders of 500 a day within a few months, Parekh soon realised that it would be too difficult to become profitable within their desired timeline.

After a successful pivot, EatFirst now offers over 100 different dishes and has delivered more than 300,00 meals to date. Available from 11am to 10pm seven days a week, every item is freshly prepared daily in one of its kitchens and delivered chilled in compostable, eco-friendly packaging.

Aiming to capitalise on the growing trend towards healthy living in the workplace, over 30% of the platform’s revenue is generated from supplying directly to businesses – its fastest growing arm – including major customers WeWork, The National Lottery, JP Morgan, Citi Group, RBS and Goldman Sachs.

Backed by more than $8m in funding, Parekh and Hodges have global ambitions for EatFirst and want it to become the “largest online restaurant across the globe by 2018”.

Why EatFirst made our shortlist:

The trend for healthy and convenient food shows no signs of abating, and EatFirst has carved out a comfortable slice of the premium end of the market with quality food delivered quickly.

With growth on the horizon – the next month will see the company go nationwide with a dedicated store and retail operation – EatFirst is growing the UK restaurant sector and offering an additional option that is both high in quality and healthy.

Where to find out more about EatFirst:


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