Food truck, dark kitchen, street picking… Catering is a remix of cards, lab/ideas

Food trucks resume with a bang. They were said to be losing momentum, but thanks to frequent closures of restaurants for more than a year, these canteen trucks have regained color. They are often launched by restaurants who already have a storefront, such as Neon Burger in Botanese (Territoire de Belfort), but also by new entrepreneurs, such as Casa Mama in Bordeaux (Gerund).

“It is difficult to quantify the phenomenon, but there is an undeniable madnessExplains Olivier Lenion, President of the Association Food Street in motion, founded by Thierry Marks in 2012 Which has 120 members across France. We receive a lot of inquiries over the phone and we have to refuse to participate in our online training. ». To support this wave, Olivier Lennon will be launching the Food Truck Academy this year.

Rémy Demichel Smoke in truck was launched in early 2020.

Smoke in the truck, the Bedouin truck

>> A 38-year-old retraining engineer, Rémy Demichel launched a food truck specializing in smoked meats 15 days before first confinement in March 2020. Slap beat it fast. His mobile restaurant allows him to move between different locations, notably in Deuil-la-Barre and Eaubonne (Val d’Oise) according to the calendar of restrictions. “First I park my car on my street, in an industrial area where companies no longer have canteens, then in a commercial area. You have to go to where the customers are, come back again, and adapt”. The summer period is prosperous: special events, festivals. The second confinement breaks the dynamism. Don’t bother, he sets up the delivery. A year after its release, Rémy Demichel does the math. “I currently have five to six locations per week, which allows me to reach €10,000 in sales per month. Practically achieving my business plan goals despite the crisis!”

Restaurants without halls

The crisis has also fueled a new form of catering that has experienced strong growth in recent years: dark kitchens. These roomless restaurants create one or more virtual brands and only work in delivery via platforms like Uber Eats, Just Eat or Deliveroo. A pioneer in the sector, created by Jean Valfort, Defour is now launching a franchise.

For new entrepreneurs, a dark kitchen can be the first step before setting up a physical establishment. It’s ambitious Nizar Siddiqui cooks by training and a former bicycle delivery man who received an endowment of €9,000 from Deliveroo for his Paris ambrosia project. “The idea is to test my concept without paying any commercial capital”says the 33-year-old businessman. He estimated the initial investment to set up his “steel” restaurant at 120,000 euros for a few thousand to start without a room.

Maxime Dufour and Benjamin Cravois, founders of Deli Routine.

DELI ROUTINE, a half virtual and half real restaurant

>> The street food brand Lille, has launched Deli Routine as a dark kitchen with three virtual brands: Aroy Street, which is inspired by Southeast Asia; Cevi Island, specializing in ceviche and poke bowls; And Digs Corner for burgers. Founded by Maxime Dufour and Benjamin Cravois, the brand now has a storefront. Three-corner room in the colors of the three brands where she sells them on the counter. “We are still present at Uber Eats and Deliveroo but intend to free ourselves from them for the long term.Maxime Dufour explains. Our average menu, priced at €15, is very upscale. We want direct contact with our customers. » The young brand plans to equip the premises to provide seating.

Street picking, scheduled delivery

The sheer ability of delivery platforms, giving themselves 20% commissions on restaurant turnover, is moving the lines. Some entrepreneurs opted to forego the services of assemblers and set up street picking, such as the Valérie Pons-run restaurant Le Fort in Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne). Principle ? The customer manually delivers his meal at a pre-determined pick up point. Formula that allows you to organize a tour to keep margin and costs smooth delivery.

Will these new organizations survive? It is a safe bet that yes. New habits of consumption took root at home. According to Food Service Vision, Food delivery market in France It is expected to double by 2024 to reach €10.3 billion.

Maxime Paget, founder of pollen.

Pollen, meeting place is just around the corner

>> Maxime Paget was founded in Lyon, last July, pollen. concept? Cook and serve meals using local and seasonal produce. The brand created its own fleet and hired paid delivery staff. Today, nine tricycles cross Lyon. “In order not to charge customers for delivery and crush the cost, we have set up Street Pick Service”Maxime Paget explains. Concretely, Pollen provides 200 meeting points where the customer picks up their order. “This organization allows us to make 30 to 40 meals in two hours, which reduces tours”Welcomes. The startup sells about 200 meals a day. “We are below our expectations due to this health crisis but we are growing fast!”

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