Providoor, the restaurant meal delivery service born in response to the Covid lockdowns, has been fallen victim to their end, and was handed over to liquidators today.
Melbourne chef and Providoor founder Shane Delia confirmed the demise of the business, effective immediately, after just three years, on Friday afternoon.
“While today is a very sad day, I am proud of Providoor and what it has achieved. We served more than one million meals and built something that made a difference during some very dark days,” he said.
“I created Providoor during lockdown, when the hospitality world was in disarray and we needed to find a way to survive. Providoor meant we could secure and create jobs as well as give people a little bit of restaurant joy during a pretty dismal time.”
Jonathan Colbran and Tristana Steedman from RSM Australia have been appointed liquidators.
Delia launched Providoor in Melbourne in April 2020, then expanded to Sydney and Canberra in July 2021 and then briefly in Brisbane.
At the time the chef said it was an industry-led solution to a broken delivery model, and financially fairer to the restaurants involved, charging a 15% commission – around half the cut demanded by big tech delivery brands.
“Providoor wasn’t set-up as a quick fix. We have a long-term strategy and our expansion to New South Wales is the next step,” Delia said two years ago.
Today he said that when people kept using Providoor after social restrictions were lifted, it showed us that the concept worked.
“I just wish it had been given the opportunity to work through the challenging economic conditions, the same facing so many in the restaurant and hospitality sector right now,” he said.
Providoor is a separate entity to the chef’s Delia Group and will its liquidation will not impact the operations of the group’s restaurants or events activities.
RSM Australia’s Jonathon Colbran said the closure of Providoor would directly impact around 50 restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne that used the delivery service and 16 full-time employees.
He said Providoor customers who purchased gift cards or future meals using credit cards should discuss their issue with their bank and may be eligible for a chargeback.
“Based on our initial assessment of Providoor’s financial position, there is presently insufficient money to pay a dividend to creditors or provide refunds to customers, including gift card holders,’’ he said.
“We understand this will be very disappointing news, but we wanted to inform customers as soon as possible, particularly if they had purchased gifts or meals for upcoming special events.
Creditors will receive further information in 10 business days. Gift card holders can notify RSM via [email protected], employees – [email protected], and other creditors [email protected].
The collapse of Providoor follows gourmet food marketplace CoLab being handed over to administrators earlier this month. Melbourne ready-meal company Efoodz. acquired the CoLab brand, IP, database and other property from the administrators this week for an undisclosed figure. CoLab’s Sydney arm will shut down.
Grocery delivery service Milkrun shut down in early April after 19 months of operations, having raised $86 million in the last two years.
The rapid demise of the sector began 12 months with the collapse of Send in May 2022, less than 12 months after launch.
That was followed by rival Voly in November, after burning through $18 million in a Seed round. The brand and database were subsequently acquired by northern NSW meat delivery service Our Cow. UK delivery service Deliveroo pulled out of Australia last November having lost $33 million in the previous year.
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