City Pantry, the business-to-business food delivery company, is concentrating on building market-share in London before attempting to realise its ambitions of becoming a global brand, MCA has learnt.
Founder and chief executive Stuart Sunderland told MCA the trend for businesses to order in food for staff – which was pioneered by American tech companies at their London offices – had spread to traditional British employers, creating major opportunities for City Pantry.
He said City Pantry was a market leader in the space, and had an opportunity to capitalise on a catering to business industry worth £6bn in the UK and £1.2bn in London before considering national and international expansion.
Sunderland said: “When we started to explore London we realised there was so much potential and we thought to begin wider expansion too early would have been the wrong decision, so we decided to keep on investing in the platform, the service and stick with London.”
The group, which has c500 clients including Google, Facebook, Spotify and Buzzfeed, works with 300 caterers and operators, covering the whole of London from Richmond to Stratford.
Sunderland said working with businesses, which may be ordering for boardroom meetings or functions, meant there was much greater emphasis on punctuality than to consumer delivery companies.
He said: “The most obvious indicator of this becoming a trend is when we started doing this, it was very much American tech companies that we were working with. Now two years on, we’re seeing much more traditional industries and UK based companies which are starting to see the benefits.
“In the past there’s been an attitude to look at the cost over benefits, but I think that’s starting to change.
“In Silicon Valley, it’s the standard to get breakfast lunch and dinner every day, and it becomes self-perpetuating.
“The market we’re in is so large, there’s an opportunity to build a huge businesses in this space. We haven’t event touched the sides yet.
“We have ambitions of building a large global brand. That will happen, but not for a little bit.”
Sunderland said the benefits of the service were not necessarily about discouraging staff from leaving their office, but to foster workplace bonding over food.
He said: “As a company what we see as our purpose is to help companies work better by eating together.
“The thinking is that – yes, there’s time you can save if people don’t go out of the office – but the bigger gains come from the bonds people build, and it becomes easier conversation when the tech guys have a better relationship with the sales guys, and collaboration becomes easier.
“It becomes a nicer and more productive place to work. It’s not as tangible, but as a benefit I think it’s a great benefit.”