Foodservice Industry Picks Up Where It Left Off with Chefdrop

Graze Boxes

Foodservice Picks Up Where It Left Off with Chefdrop​
Written by Eric Wood

Innovation has been the name of the game over the past 2 years for operators and suppliers in the foodservice world. Be it through technology, or through sheer will of spirit, the industry has made some amazing leaps forward in takeout and expanding the market.

The limitation of delivery has been that not all food travels well in the traditional heated container, and no matter how many delivery apps they are on, restaurants couldn’t reach customers outside of their trade area.

One innovative company solving this problem is Chefdrop, a Toronto area business that arrived on the scene this year with a hybrid of the restaurant experience, complete with the convenience of a meal kit. Founded by Adam Teolis and the Open Concept Hospitality Group (Carbon Bar, Amano, Union Chicken), Chefdrop partners with a best-in-class roster of well-known chefs and gives them the platform to expand their traditional delivery trade area and reach a much larger market. Launched in February, after some testing with their own restaurant group, they brought in other partners and vendors to up the offerings.

“For the restaurants that might not have the capacity to fulfill both dine-in and takeout at the same time between 5-8 pm, it’s very disruptive,” says Teolis, “With Chefdrop, they are not cannibalizing their own business and instead of reaching the 100,000 people in your trade area, you can get out to the 10 million in the GTHA, and fulfill the kits off-peak.”

Their focus has been on curating high-quality, well-known, and established operators such as Mark McEwan, Carl Heinrich, Victor Barry, and Afrim Pristine. Their platform strives for meaningful business to everyone so they are limiting their own growth in a way by not having current open sign-ups. They plan to expand the line up as the user base expands.

“What’s very important to us is building trust in the Chefdrop brand, and making sure our guests are getting a best in class experience, so we target chefs that share that vision.”

It’s left up to the chefs as to what they want to offer, and how they want to have the customer prepare the food. Meal kits come at different skill levels and prep levels – everything from a Gravy Pasta dinner from Amano, to the Curry and Pad Thai from PAI, which is by design more hands on, as its part of the chefs vision. Chefs prepare their kits in their own kitchens in off peak hours, and Chefdrop collects them, consolidates and checks the orders, and delivers them to the end consumer.

“There are also all these great chefs who don’t have restaurants anymore, chefs that lost their restaurants, or moved on. There is a lot of great culinary talent that’s not currently in the restaurant space, so we thought it was a great opportunity to give them a format for delivery their food so people can experience it still.”

The average customer is ordering 2 meals per drop, but they see a lot of people entertaining, ordering multiple kits and selecting enough food for 20 people or more. There are both everyday options, and more premium offerings, with pricing between $25-$150 per kit. Each kit serving between 2-4 guests.

Next steps could be nationwide shipping, bringing partners from other cities across Canada connected to the network, more content, flexibility, faster fulfillment times and anything to enhance the guest experience. They have layered in a corporate and live cooking events partnership, and are also exploring having a staffing element added in to enhance the catering and dinner party sector.

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