What inspired you to start Feedr?
Lyz Swanton and I noticed a few years ago that there had been clear changes in the way consumers want to eat, but it was still difficult to access nutritious, fresh and varied food when at work. We’d seen a host of great, independent eateries emerging, focusing on creating healthy and delicious food, but the market was still dominated by processed products from ‘grab and go’ chains, which just weren’t offering customers truly healthy options. We were therefore inspired to use the opportunity to disrupt the space, using technology to personalise menus and a unique operations model to make healthy food affordable at scale.
What separates Feedr from other online healthy food delivery services?
Feedr’s differences lie in how we use tech to drive choice and personalisation in new ways. Employees are offered the chance to order their own meal from a selection of different vendors featured in curated menus that rotate every day. Meals arrive collectively – creating a system which offers customisation on a large scale and is better for the environment. We utilise the data from our customers’ orders to inform menu selections moving forward, and in the future will enable them to create plans that integrate with other parts of their lifestyle. Using AI (artificial intelligence), the more you use Feedr, the more personalised your experience will be. Think of it as the ‘Netflix for food’.
What is your most popular dish?
We have over 100 eateries on our platform and cater to such a broad audience with different taste preferences and dietary requirements, so I wouldn’t say we have specific dishes that are the ‘most popular’. We do get a lot of requests for Middle Eastern, Asian and Mexican-inspired food – I think because they offer so much variety and are packed full of rich flavours.
Have you seen a spike in orders for vegan dishes?
We absolutely have, and we’re not surprised. We saw a notable rise of veganism within the lunchtime food market in 2018: 17% of all main meals ordered on our platform were vegan, an increase of 5% from 2017, and 27% of vendors added to our platform in 2018 actually had predominantly vegan menus. Vendors such as Pollen & Grace, Mildreds and Really Rice, which we work with, are vegan friendly. We expect numbers to grow higher, too, and we really do take the stance of catering to everyone, whether they are vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian or dairy-free – there are so many ways to eat out there and we want to cater to all eating habits.
What are your personal favourites to order from Feedr?
My firm favourites are Karma Cans (za’atar salmon bowl or zhoug aubergine), Nusa (miso cod rice box or tofu soba noodle salad) and Olive & Squash (all of the salads and wraps). All of these dishes are healthy, but they also always feel like a treat because they are so delicious.
What are your favourite family meals to cook at home?
I love experimenting at home and it’s hard to pick just one. Simple meals are usually fish and a couple of sides. We use herbs and spices like harissa or turmeric to make them tasty. I love doing Mexican at home too –fish tacos with lots of homemade guacamole.
What are your go-to restaurants?
We love to mix it up. Favourite local restaurants in Little Venice are Kateh (Iranian) and Gogi (Korean). My healthy lunch favourite is the Detox Kitchen. A few of my other go-tos include Clarette in Marylebone (French), Dinings in Paddington (Japanese), Palomar in Soho (Israeli) and Taquería in Notting Hill (this more than rivals the tacos we make at home).
What are your five favourite things about London?
Walking through Hyde Park in spring; brunch and shopping in Notting Hill at the weekend; Annabel’s nightclub (especially at Christmas time); seeing an exhibition at the Tate Modern.
My favourite thing about London is that every neighbourhood has a distinct and unique feeling, which means you can actually experience 100 cities in one.
How do you unwind?
Getting into a novel or great TV show always relaxes me. A couple of my recent picks include the book Shoe Dog – Phil Knight’s journey of starting Nike – and Amazon’s series The Marvellous Mrs Mazel, which tells the story of an ambitious New York housewife in the 1950s who discovers her talent for stand-up comedy. I’ve also started listening to podcasts on the way home from work, as a way to detach and unwind. A recent one I loved was by Recode Decode featuring Jonathan Neman, the founder of Sweetgreen, talking about how he wants to redefine fast food and build a McDonald’s of our generation.
How do you see London’s wellness scene developing?
I think the London wellness scene will continue to develop and grow as the concept of wellness becomes more mainstream and democratised. It’s no longer a term reserved only for those interested in yoga and green juices, and is increasingly being viewed as a vital component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a busy city. We’ll continue to see an increase in the discussions being had in the B2C space; we’ve seen this already with the rise of apps like Headspace, the growth of gym memberships and the appearance of healthier food options available in restaurants and supermarkets. But I believe we’ll see more businesses start to tackle workplace wellness and employee well-being too, as the links between wellness and health (both physical and mental) are explored further.
What’s next for Feedr?
We’re currently growing our internal team, which is really exciting. You can never invest enough in a great team who appreciate, understand and feel passionate about the product. We’re also continuing to improve Feedr’s interface, based on customer feedback we receive, to make sure it’s the best user experience it can be, as well as developing our technology in order to scale our menu building and recommendations automation. We want to make the whole process, from ordering your food to eating it, as enjoyable and easy as possible – so we’re really focusing on how we can do this across all parts of the journey.
Longer term, we plan to expand Feedr into other parts of the UK and in other European cities. We’ll also look to raise Series A investment this year to expand our model, and we’re hoping to reach 100,000 meals a month before expanding internationally.