Two entrepreneurs, who grew up in Wombourne and share a passion for ‘eating local’, are setting their sights on helping independent eateries bounce back from Covid-19 with the launch of a new online takeaway and ‘click and collect’ service.
Ben Woodall and Matt Brown have been developing Wolverhampton Eats over the last three months and are planning to go live with the app and website on March 18th, giving a timely boost to the City’s food and drink scene.
50 outlets, including Canalside Bar & Grill, Grumpys Burger n Dogs, ISO Sushi Wok & Grill, Kaptin Korma and Meat House, have already signed up to the service, which allows users to quickly place orders online for delivery or collection.
Unlike larger national apps, participants will benefit from tailored marketing on social media, no sign-up fees and a considerably smaller commission on each transaction, making it more competitive at a time when many are looking to emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown.
The duo is hoping that Wolverhampton Eats will tap into people’s desire to support local businesses and the cost-effective approach will go some way towards generating additional customers for participating outlets.
“We know people are fiercely proud and loyal to the City and surrounding areas, but even we have been blown away by the response from the food and drink sector,” explained Ben.
“The plan was to have 30 businesses involved so we had some critical mass for the launch date and we smashed that figure in a few months, almost doubling it by the time we are due to go live.”
He continued: “After all the troubles of the pandemic, independents are looking at new ways of making up for lost revenue and our app should help deliver that. We’ve got over 4000 followers across our social media pages, so you can see that locals want to back what we’re trying to do by keeping money and trade in the area.”
Wolverhampton Eats is looking to showcase the best the City offers in food and drink, with the emphasis very much on giving independents a platform to compete with the bigger chains.
So far, there is something for everyone, with outlets specialising in Chinese, Desserts, Italian, Jamaican, Pizza, Street Food and Vegetarian meals all listed. There are also a number of artisan producers featured, providing a new way for them to get their great tasting breads and cakes to a wider audience.
Matt picked up the story: “Our website and app is available to any restaurant, takeaway, café or independent producer with a WV postcode, except for those based in Bridgnorth.
“We’ve signed up 50 eateries and believe there’s potential to get to 100 by the end of the year. It’s a risk-free way of outlets gaining an additional marketing boost and a new way of selling, with no joining fees, small commission charges and, better still, a local person that is invested in helping their business grow.
“This could be through social media marketing and specially tailored promotions to celebrate big anniversaries, tie in with major events or just to give the launch of a new menu a boost.
“Wolverhampton Eats is a celebration of the food and drink scene. Enjoy local and buy local is our message and we believe it will give the sector a much-needed lift.”
Built using industry-leading software, Wolverhampton Eats features the latest user-friendly interfaces and payment security measures.
It is available by visiting www.wolverhamptoneats.co.uk or by downloading the app from the Apple Store or via Google Play.