Dessert trends in Australia as of late have been based around a highly concentrated sugar rush. In recent years outrageous creations like the Tella Ball, a nutella filled donut and the Freakshake, an overindulged milkshake, have dominated the Australian dessert industry, while Doughnut Time is Sydney’s current obsession.
Millennials in particular take their food very seriously, we eat with both our eyes and our mouths. We look for inventive menus with creative flair so that we can share our experiences via social media and as such, restaurants and bakeries are starting to reinvent the most common recipes so they can be shared via a community of food porn lovers.
The dessert food industry in Australia alone is worth more than $8 billion – our country spends up to 25 percent more on desserts than on any fast food item. We crave sweet, rather than savory – sugar is our drug of choice.
Given that social sharing plays a large part in our dessert experiences, boutique bakeries have started moving their operations into online platforms like Instagram and Facebook. However, both makeshift online shopfronts require maintenance and manual upkeep that is both time consuming and hard to streamline.
To help accelerate the dessert buying experience and alleviate the burden of selling over multiple online sites is Sydney startup GetFoodi. The startup founded Sia Sajjadi, Adam Love and Johnson Su is a handmade desserts platform that enables food lovers to sell and share their creations with one, streamlining point of sale through the one site.
GetFoodi is a new foodtech startup that wants to connect local boutique bakeries with their customers. The startup looks to create a one-stop platform where consumers can visualise cakes and desserts their bakeries have to offer.
Su believes that few local boutique bakeries have the time and resources to set up and maintain a functioning online shopfront. On the other hand, he believes that consumers want greater choice and comparison between their local boutique bakeries.
“The dessert industry is currently a highly competitive landscape and there are no guarantees that a bakery will consistently operate well. It’s also extremely difficult for chefs to obtain enough capital to set up a brick and mortar shopfront,” explained Su.
“Paying developers to create a website, maintaining it, and then driving traffic to the site is also time consuming. It requires sound technical understanding and is a capital intensive endeavour.”
GetFoodi is looking to lower the barriers for chefs so they can trial their creations in the market without exposing too much of their time and capital, while the platform also sets a safety guarantee for its customers to provide the most efficient and quality experience.
Customers who are looking to request tailor made desserts such as celebration cakes are able to submit a request on GetFoodi, where they can then begin a conversation with the resident chef. Customers can ask the chef about their recipes, cake styles, ingredients used, prices, and location. GetFoodi connects consumers directly to the boutique bakery, saving time and travel.
From a bakery perspective, chefs are able to consolidate their customer order requests and the associated tasks of accounting and administration all through the GetFoodi platform.
Su explained that GetFoodi is a ‘request order’ model and not an ‘on-demand order’ model. This means that the chef is able to negotiate request terms with options to straight up confirm, modify and even decline certain requests. For basic customisations like a change in icing colour or an addition of edible flowers, for example, a 15 percent fee is charged.
The platform allows the bakeries to set their own prices and charges a 10 percent transaction fee on every order to the chef, inclusive of credit card fees.
Boutique bakeries that are currently using the platform include Sydney pastry chef and cake stylist Stella Zhang, innovative dessert catering company Kayter Co and celebration cake specialist Gabbie Budai, to name a few.
The idea for GetFoodi stemmed from a homemade dinner concept last year. Su said the team initially sought to create a platform that allowed neighbours to share food and cook for each other. Studying and living at the University of NSW, Su trialed the concept by cooking and serving spaghetti bolognese to students living on campus. Su charged students $7 for pasta and delivery.
For order and payment, Su used Weebly to create a basic site, which soon blew up to 150 orders and reached maximum capacity.
“It didn’t take us long to realise that it’s very difficult for a chef to scale this business model profitably unless they had a production team. Though, it did prove that Aussies had an affinity for homemade products,” said Su.
“After really looking into the issue of scalability due to volume constraints, it made sense for us to pivot into desserts where there are much higher margins and more desirability.”
GetFoodi worked on proving its service and business model at the UTS Hatchery program in Sydney. On the first of July the startup launched its beta platform and has now officially launched its MVP.
The startup received a pre-seed investment of $150,000, which it will look to follow up with a seed investment raise of $500,000.
With additional investment, GetFoodi plans to expand its operations both locally and internationally over the next six months.
“We hope to have dessert vendors operating on our site around major Australian cities and the rest of the year, establishing our platform in Japan and Hong Kong,” Su said.
Image: Sia Sajjadi, Adam Love and Johnson Su. Source: Supplied by Leah Lucas.