We all know that with the explosion of food delivery the ever increasing debate over its impact on the environment has developed, but what about the impact on our health?
There comes a fine line between helping and hindering our society when considering Deliveroo’s mission “to bring great food direct to customers as fast as possible”. Where it is looking to save people the hassle of cooking in the evening, “great food” is often greasy burgers, indulgent curries or high calorie pizza – particularly when Deliveroo’s data will target these desires to increase sales.
In our latest interview with a FoodStars member, we are talking to a food delivery business ahead of the curve. Macro Food offers you the chance to put your feet up, but to order a healthy meal that you might well have chosen to cook yourself, if you had had the time, your back wasn’t killing you after a long day and all you want to do is relax and eat well.
Macro Food has 5 core values, which we think heed well for any food delivery business to take note of:
- Eco Friendly
We interview founder Kirsty-Lee Griffiths on how the business came about, the ways in which it has grown and where she wants to take it.
About Macro Food
When Did You Start Macro Food And What Inspired You To Start It?
Starting a health food business was a dream of mine for years, I wanted to open a health food restaurant but knew it would require significant investment so I didn’t think it was possible. But last summer I quit my job in IT sales and I knew that then was the time I had to take a risk and see where I could take this idea.
Someone told me about dark kitchens and I thought it would be a great way to start a health food business, with less risk and investment needed to start up. I decided to go ahead with Macro Food in October 2018, and launched January 2019.
The idea came along from purely selfish reasons really, I found it difficult to find food that suited my requirements so I went and created it myself! I play premiership rugby, so it’s important to me to get the right amount of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) in my diet to support my training routine. I found most health food restaurants didn’t have that information easily available, and if it was, it wasn’t well balanced, nor was there the flexibility to build my own meal to create something that did suit my needs.
How Did You Choose Your Name?
We drafted a few ideas for names, most of which were terrible, but Macro Food really stood out for me. It was catchy and clearly sums up what we are about, which is the transparency of having the macronutrient breakdown of our food.
How Did You Develop Your Core Values?
I thought about what values matter most to me when I’m making my food choices and choosing what brands to buy from.
What Has Been Your Greatest Success?
Becoming one of the top rated restaurants on Deliveroo and UberEats*. Getting positive feedback from customers and hearing how much they love our food is why we do what we do.
What Has Been Your Most Challenging Hurdle?
Starting the business with no experience in the food industry, running a business or managing someone before! It’s all been an incredibly steep learning curve. I feel like I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I know I’ll figure it out along the way and have a great team on board to support me.
Where Do You See Macro Food In 5 Years Time?
It’s hard to say. Being fresh to the market we’ve got a lot of ideas and opportunities we’d like to explore, but there is also something to be said for following your organic growth. You’ll just have to wait and see!
How Do You Choose Your Menu/New Menu Items?
As well as our staple food we look to update the menu throughout the year. We start with looking at what is seasonal and what’s trending at the moment. Then we look at how we can put our own spin on that and put together flavour combinations and items that people haven’t had before – making the food both nutritious and interesting.
What Made You Choose Catering Over Opening A Restaurant As Your Secondary Offering?
Catering was the next obvious choice for us as it enables us to open up our menu to new markets utilising the same structures and assets that we have. This means we can grow our customer base without making the giant leap to a restaurant which would demand front of house and less opportunity to ramp up or down our products with demand. With catering we can respond to requests and seasonality, rather than having the stresses and strains of filling bums on seats on a daily basis.
What Made You Choose A Foodstars Commercial Kitchen?
There are lots of different types of dark kitchen out there but what really drew us to FoodStars was:
- Community – there’s a great sense of community in the building, we all support each other and help each other out in times of need. Especially when we run out of a vital ingredient!
- Location – prime location for delivery to areas where our key demographic lives.
- Flexibility – not tied down to lengthy agreements.
How Has Using Foodstars Helped Your Business?
Aside from the community, location and flexibility, there are two things which have really stood out for us as members of FoodStars:
- Low Costs
Using the flexibility provided by FoodStars plans we were able to start up with low costs. Having an evening only kitchen at the beginning of our journey was really important for us to start small and reduce our costs. Then as we grew we expanded to a private kitchen.
- Having all the equipment included and managed as well as an integrated Kitchen Management System.
As well as the equipment, the kitchen management technology system is really important for us as it removes a lot of the complexities of being a delivery only kitchen such as keeping the food warm, handling drivers etc. With that part taken care of we can focus on what we do best: creating high quality, healthy, fast food.
The Food Industry
How Do You Feel The Food Delivery Sector Could Be Improved?
Higher scrutiny. There are kitchens out there that are able to deliver without being an actual kitchen. Standards need to be higher to ensure that kitchens are operating safely.
What Is Your Greatest Concern About The Future Of The Food Industry?
Rising food costs following Brexit is a huge concern. Only 53% of the food in the UK comes from here and 28% is from the EU. Fresh produce will be most impacted due to the disruption of supply chains and certain fruits and vegetables will become more scarce and expensive. This has the potential to further drive up the price gap between fresh produce and processed foods – leading people to make unhealthy choices to save money.
Does Being Eco-friendly Make A Food Delivery Business More Expensive?
Of course. ensuring that you source your products sustainably is both time consuming and an expensive process. We aim to source as much produce from the UK as possible and prep our food in small batches to reduce our food waste. We also have recycling and compost collections on site to help us reduce our impact to the environment.
Our food packaging also comes with a higher price tag because it’s eco-friendly. But it’s something that’s important to us and what we stand for, so we are willing to pay the price to have a better impact on the environment and believe that our customers do too.
If You Could Give One Piece Of Advice To A Food Delivery Business Start Up, What Would It Be?
The Food Delivery space is a busy one, our business started because I couldn’t find what I wanted on the market: Have a unique offering and quality food.
What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?
From the age of 11 I wanted to be a lawyer, then I studied Law at university and realised that wasn’t the ideal career path for me! Starting Macro Food taught me that it is never too late to change tack!
Who Do You Most Admire And Why?
Sara Blakely the Founder and CEO of Spanx. She attributes hard work and having fun as keys to success which is what I try to embody!
What Is Your Favourite Food?
What Is Your Greatest Fear?
Looking back in life and thinking “I wish I took that chance”.
Macro Food delivers quality, healthy food to your doorstep – as well as offering deliciously wholesome meals and drinks, you can cater your meal to your exact wants and needs with their “build your own” option. Sourced sustainably, delivered greenly, one can’t help but think that they are onto something.
We believe that they provide the possibility to have a significant positive impact on food delivery and catering and cannot wait to see their next steps.
*Macro Food has a 4.8 star rating on Deliveroo and 4.8 star rating on Uber Eats