The French Startup Taster, formerly known as Mission Food, is building restaurants around major cities specifically for Deliveroo, UberEats and Glovo. These restaurants do not have a table, they all serve to serve food on online platforms.
The startup has just raised a $ 4 million fundraiser led by Sunstone Capital, with the participation of Global Founders Capital, Thierry Gillier and LocalGlobe. Kima Ventures and Marc Menasé took part in the previous round.
If you look at food startups, it all started with Just Eat, GrubHub and Seamless restaurants with delivery fleets. That way, instead of keeping a stack of flyers with phone numbers, you can find all the pizza and sushi places on one site.
But Deliveroo, UberEats, Glovo and Postmates have introduced a new segment of restaurants to deliver. For the first time, regular restaurants could start accepting online orders. Startups could take care of orders and deliveries.
And some restaurants have become instant hits on these platforms. But that does not necessarily change as much as they would like. They are still limited by the size of their kitchens, and opening a new restaurant is a big deal.
That is why Deliveroo began investing in satellite kitchens for the most popular restaurants – these kitchens are essentially containers on the car parks.
Taster does not want to work with existing restaurants. The company wants to create new restaurant chains and control the menu and the kitchens.
The name Taster may not be familiar, but you may have already ordered it at a virtual Taster restaurant. The company has set up three Mission Saigon in Paris, one in Madrid and one in Lille.
You may have also ordered from the two restaurants of O Ke Kai in Paris. More recently, Taster released Out Fry.
As you can see, Taster was quite aggressive when it came to deploying new restaurants. When you find these "restaurants" on Deliveroo or on another platform, nothing tells you that it's not really a restaurant but just a kitchen.
This is a smart approach because Taster can reduce costs. There is no need to rent large spaces, it does not need as many staff and it does not handle deliveries. By listing its restaurants on a third-party platform, Taster can also compete more easily with full-stack startups, such as Frichti, Nestor, FoodChéri and others.
But the success of Taster could be a problem. If the startup manages to support Deliveroo and UberEats, traditional restaurants could complain. Deliveroo and UberEats could also change their rules and remove them overnight.
Taster relies heavily on these third-party platforms. But this should not be a problem for the moment, as more and more restaurants are bringing more customers to the delivery companies.