Meal delivery service Providoor is staging a comeback six months after it shut down suddenly, with a range of celebrity chefs backing the reborn startups, now owned by Seventh Street Ventures founder Sam Benjamin.
Born in response to the Covid lockdowns in April 2020 by Melbourne chef Shane Delia. It subsequently expanded into the NSW and Queensland capitals in 2021, but after lockdowns ended and restaurants reopened to in-house dining, Delia placed the business in liquidation in April this year . The brand was subsequently acquired by Benjamin, whose investment portfolio includes gourmet food test-platform, Kaspa, and Brag Media, publishers of Rolling Stone in Australia.
Providoor returns today in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with the likes of Silvia Colloca, Anna Polyviou, Luke Nguyen, Manu Feildel, Justin Narayan and former Masterchef judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan George Calombaris supplying meal options.
But its modus operandi has changed from the purely restaurant focus, when kitchen brigades gathered in the shuttered workplaces to produce home-delivered meals during lockdowns to the “ghost kitchen” model used by major tech companies for their own brands in the food delivery space.
The business how has two options: Providoor Frozen and Providoor Local, offering home-delivered restaurant-quality meals.
Benjamin said he wanted to revive the brand because it has tested infrastructure and support and goodwill of the local hospitality industry.
“ We have developed processes that allow us to prepare, store and finish restaurant quality food in a way that has never been done before. It’s an absolute game-changer to have this many chefs and personalised menus under one banner,” he said.
“Over the last three years we have invested time and resources travelling the world researching, testing, tasting, sourcing, preparing and then re-testing and delivering high quality food with high quality speed and service through test-platform, Kaspa. We have assembled a highly experienced team from all over the world – operations and culinary – all committed to the bold aspirations of the business.”
Meals are pre-prepared in kitchens in four locations across Sydney, with further kitchens to open in Sydney as well as in Melbourne and Brisbane in the near future. Delivery is via Uber Eats
The heat-and-eat menu includes Silvia Colloca’s lasagna and diavola pizza; Gary Mehigan’s Moroccan lamb tagine; Matt Preston’s mushroom burger; Manu Feildel’s coq au vin; and Anna Polyviou’s white chocolate cheesecake with strawberry basil salad.
Colloca said joining Providoor finally answers the question of when she’s going to open a restaurant.
“Joining forces with Providoor is the closest thing to serving my favourite family recipes to you in the comfort of your home,” she said. “Some of the most loved dishes from my shows and books will be available to order.”
Providoor Frozen orders can be made via providoor.com.
In Sydney, orders taken by midday have next day delivery, while in Melbourne and Brisbane they’re delivered twice a week with 3-day lead time. Orders are open from noon today, October 23.
Providoor Local meals are available via the Uber Eats app from Tuesday, October 24.
Benjamin said he was a Providoor customer and loved the original concept.
“It offers a connection for at-home diners to top chefs and restaurants who don’t want to cook but want elevated at-home dining,” he said.
“I know we can breathe new life back into a brand that has such good sentiment. The demand is there and we are ready to meet it.”