French startup Frichti is getting involved in the food delivery wars. The company just raised $1.1 million (€1 million) from Alven Capital with an approach that has been getting more popular recently. Frichti handles everything in house — you order on the website, the startup cooks everything in its own kitchen, and Frichti delivers your meal in Paris.
I had to try the service before writing anything about it. Surprisingly, the company has many different choices of starters and entrées. Chances are there will be something for you.
Here’s what I got today. My lunch started with a mushroom velouté with truffle cream sauce. Then I ate a vegetarian curry. And while I wasn’t even hungry anymore, I had to eat the homemade cheesecake. All of this cost me €12.60, including a €1.50 delivery fee.
Compared to comparable French startups, such as Nestor and PopChef, you have to heat your dishes using a microwave for example. This might be the reason why the startup is able to provide so many different options. Everything comes with an explanatory sticker telling you what you’re about to eat and how you should reheat it.
You can also order juices, soft drinks and water if your fridge is totally empty. And because this is France, you can also order wine and cheese. My first order was a good experience and I can see myself ordering again.
And this is key to understanding the current madness with food startups. You have to eat every day, so recurring orders can create a healthy revenue stream for these startups.
Now there are challenges ahead. First generation food startups, such as Just Eat (operating under the Allo Resto brand in France), GrubHub and Delivery Hero, aggregate takeaway restaurants online. Recent food startup giants, such as Deliveroo, Foodora and even Uber, manage their own fleets of couriers to work with any restaurant and deliver their food for them. Now, startups like Frichti and FoodChéri are taking this one step further with their own kitchens.
Can this full stack approach scale? If the answer is yes, Frichti, Popchef, Le Zeste and others have a bright future. Like in other industries, managing every level of the stack lets you bring the prices down or generate significant margins.
I also believe that these full stack startups will be able to create a more powerful brand compared to Deliveroo and others. In some ways, Frichti is like Blue Apron, but without having to cook anything yourself.
It’s still very early for Frichti as the company has only delivered 10,000 meals so far. But Deliveroo and Foodora are burning a ton of cash in billboard ads, Facebook ads and promo codes. It’s not a bad start for a company that launched just three months ago.