FoodByUs, the former B2B-only marketplace for wholesale food suppliers, has opened up its platform to help consumers during the coronavirus crisis.
The Sydney based startup, which usually supplies huge volumes of food and cleaning products to cafes, pubs and restaurants, is making the switch from B2B to B2C.
With wholesalers losing around 80% of their business from hospitality venues such as The Star, Opera Bar & the MCG which can no longer serve customers, the marketplace for wholesale food suppliers has decided to open up its platform to consumers during the coronavirus crisis.
It will mean that consumers can access foodservice suppliers at wholesale prices. They’ve also developed a program to transform local restaurants into mini convenience stores, stocked up with essential products for the local community.
Australian independent wholesalers have lost between 80% – 95% of their business as the on-trade has been forced to shut its doors to dine-in guests and offer take-away only.
By pivoting the business model to sell to consumers, FoodByUs is supporting suppliers, farmers and importers to stay in business.
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Since it opened to consumers just a week ago, FoodByUs has had close to 1,000 new sign ups every day.
Ben Lipschitz, Co-Founder and Managing Director of FoodByUs, said that he knew he had to do something after seeing empty supermarket stores and wholesales struggling.
“Opening up FoodByUs to consumers will not only keep Aussie households well-stocked at great prices but will also help keep people employed across our supply chain.”
Turning local restaurants into mini convenience stores
Hundreds of restaurants and cafes use FoodByUs across Sydney and Melbourne, and many are currently struggling to stay afloat due to the effects of COVID-19.
FoodByUs has developed a program to transform local restaurants into mini convenience stores, stocked up with essential products for the local community.
Weekly webinars will teach restaurant owners about the most popular retail products, how to put together useful hampers for customers, and how to promote the service.
This means restaurants can continue to generate revenue and keep more people employed while helping their community access essential supplies without breaking social distancing rules in supermarket lines.
Ben Lipschitz said, “We have worked closely with our partner restaurants and suppliers to find a solution that will benefit both consumers and businesses.”
“This is a trying time for everyone, but as they say, challenge breeds innovation, and collaborations like this will help maintain our industry and ensure we are ready to roar back once we have beaten COVID-19.”