A former bond trader has launched a high-end take-out service that's bringing Michelin-starred dining to London's living rooms.
While the average meal doesn't come cheap — most people are paying upwards of £80-100 ($124-$155) for a dinner for two —founder and CEO Peter Georgiou of online delivery service SUPPER said that's a bargain when considering what customers would have paid in-restaurant. Add in wine and service charge, and you're lucky to walk away paying less than £300, he said.
Nineteen upmarket London-based restaurants have teamed up with online delivery service SUPPER since the site quietly launched in December 2014, including Tamarind and Benares—two of the city's Michelin-starred sites.
Georgiou got the idea for SUPPER after returning to London from a stint in New York, only to be disappointed how poorly equipped the city was for delivering high-quality food.
He's since invested "hundreds of thousands" of his own cash into the business, the equivalent to what might have been Series A funding. The next round could invite approximately $300 million, but Georgiou insists they plan to grow slowly and will cap at around 50-60 restaurants. Right now, they're happy to clock five orders per restaurant per night.
"We're never going to be mass market, but we want to be best in our field. "
Georgiou said he's "well-aware" of the success of other sites like Deliveroo. The European food delivery startup raised $70 million in its latest funding round, with some reports suggesting the company could be valued at nearly $315 million.
Meanwhile, an American-based start-up called Munchery that sends out gourmet meals from its kitchens on demand, recently secured $85 million in its latest round of funding, with media reports estimating the company could be worth $300 million.
But Bryan Roberts, retail insights director at Kantar Retail warns the future might be less rosy for the food delivery space.
"We're a long way from saturation, but it's worth remembering that there only so many stomachs to go around. With a whole host of retailers, restaurants and delivery services trying to fill them, it seems likely that not all of the new services will be sustainable in the long term."
Georgiou says SUPPER's unique selling point is the way it's carrying food. The company's £7,000 scooters are equipped with food boxes, comprised of Japanese and German technology that's meant to keep food at ideal serving temperatures, while drivers keep daily logs to monitor issues like heat loss. For now, they only deliver to central London in an effort to maintain quality control.
A spokesperson for Michelin-starred restaurant Benares told CNBC that they'd been approached by other online sites before, but SUPPER was the first that "ticked all the boxes."
"Our main concern was not to jeopardize the quality of our food," Arnaud Dumas, Operations Manager for Benares Restaurant and Bar said.
Georgiou admits it hasn't been easy to get all the kitchens on board and he's felt a bit of a backlash from both restaurants and chefs.
"I've had to win so many over," he told CNBC.
"Chefs are very concerned about their beautiful restaurants becoming a take away. But that's not what we want."
Georgiou says SUPPER offers a new revenue streams for London's already-popular restaurants, and giving new customers access to restaurants with strict reservation policies.
His sights are now set on high-profile partners like Jamie Oliver and some of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, and while they're courting more casual diners, Georgiou says they're keeping an eye on quality.
"There's economy on a plane and then there's first class. We're right at the front of the plane."