La Belle Assiette: Revolutionising catering service by sending chefs to cook in homes
2 min read
03 March 2016
Many people prefer home cooking to eating, out but not all of them have time to slavishly perfect their soufflé for dinner parties. With that in mind, this Everline Future 50 2016 company believes having a chef take over your kitchen could be a delicious alternative to the restaurant scene.
Name: La Belle Assiette
Date founded: 2012
Founders: Giorgio Riccò, Stephen Leguillon
La Belle Assiette, which initially found inspiration in how Uber and Airbnb had used technology to challenge the taxi and hotel industries, was created on the belief that people love entertaining at home but find the logistics of planning too difficult if they worked long hours.
With research suggesting that Brits have a long-hours working culture – the European working time directive, which aimed to limit hours to 48 a week, apparently isn’t working – it’s a concept that hits right on target.
So through the company – for £35 per head – the chef buys the ingredients, stops by your house, prepares and serves a meal and even washes the dishes afterwards.
Prior to the chef arriving at the customer’s house, users get to browse through that chef’s menu options, view images of the dishes and inspect reviews before booking and paying. And through the use of digital means, the experience is all the easier – you create an online profile with your menus and its accompanying platform automatically manages your bookings so that you don’t have to deal with a calendar and write down everyone’s contact information.
Think of it as bringing a fancy restaurant to your house. And it works. La Belle Assiette first opened in September 2012 with 38 chefs – now it has 700.
Its penchant for growth was highlighted by how the company quadrupled its client base over the first quarter of 2015 to reach more than 7,000 customers.
Furthermore, since launching in France, founders Riccò and Leguillon rapidly exported the brand to Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the UK and Germany, keen to solidify its lead in the European market before its US competitors – Kitchensurfing and Kitchit – make similar moves.
Its latest investment round of €1.9m will help push its expansion endeavours, with it also now looking at other opportunities in the events catering industry. La Belle Assiette is keen to extend its service to include providing buffets and canapé receptions, with the startup also being set to offer office lunches and cooking classes.