French startup La Belle Assiette just opened shop in Belgium. La Belle Assiette is a sort of on-demand chef service. You can browse the site, find your chef and book a meal directly from the service — a chef will then come to your home or office. The startup will also roll out its offering in the U.K., Switzerland and Luxembourg in the next six weeks.
Here’s how the service works. Next time you’re having a dinner party at home, you can opt for La Belle Assiette instead of having to cook for 12 persons. You can filter your chef by price, food, popularity and more — chefs range from $30 or $40 per person to hundreds of dollars per person. The chef will buy the ingredients and clean up before leaving.
It’s not a cheap service in any way. Think of it like bringing a fancy restaurant to your home. And it works. La Belle Assiette first opened in September 2013 with 38 chefs. Today, I can find 272 chefs on the website. You just need to book 24 hours in advance, and there will always be a chef available.
In March, the company handled 6 events per day on average in France. The monthly revenue was around $120,000 (€86,000). In other words, the company’s growth is pretty high. The startup raised $480,000 (€350,000) so far. A few chefs are already quitting their other jobs to switch exclusively and go full time with La Belle Assiette. For example, the most successful chef earned $12,000 in March.
When I asked co-founder and CEO Stephen Leguillon why chefs were signing up for La Belle Assiette, he told me that they were looking for a simple platform to advertise, handle their calendars and have an online presence. The startup provides all that, and even handles billing. In exchange, the startup takes a 12 percent cut.
La Belle Assiette just opened in Belgium, and is already working on getting more than 70 chefs in each of its next countries — the U.K., Switzerland and Luxembourg. The startup has a couple of American competitors — Kitchensurfing started out on the East Coast, while Kitchit was created in the Bay Area. La Belle Assiette’s main challenge is to take over the European market before its competitors go international.