The Zymmo platform allows freelance chefs to compete in the gig economy, focusing on users who may want to hire a chef for a private function or buy ready-made meals
Spotted: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to decimate the restaurant and catering industry, chefs and restaurant owners are exploring a range of new business models. Now, Austin-based startup Zymmo has come up with a model that connects customers directly to freelance chefs.
Unlike UberEats or GrubHub, Zymmo focuses on users who want to either hire a chef for a private function or buy ready-made meals directly from a freelance chef. To be featured on the site, chefs must have access to a commercial kitchen and be certified with local health authorities to cook and serve food. Zymmo also interviews all prospective chefs to make sure they are qualified.
Zymmo allows chefs to reach a broad range of customers while offering customers a way to support local businesses and connect with a wider range of freelance chefs. So far, the app has around 25 chefs and 50 users and has processed only a handful of transactions. However, it has already raised around €297,000 and is hoping to raise another €640,000 from a seed funding round.
Zymmo makes its money by charging a 15 per cent commission on every transaction and has plans to offer a subscription service for customers, as well as a social networking component for users and chefs. Founder Vidhya Subramanian says the focus will be on creating not just a food marketplace, but a community of like-minded people: “being a chef is like being an artist, you need creativity and passion. I wanted to give them a platform to shine and define their own destiny, and connect with foodies in a meaningful way.”
Zymmo is not the only innovation in hospitality we have seen emerge from the wreckage of the coronavirus pandemic. Some, such as holographic ordering and pay points, focus on creating a touch-free restaurant service. Others, such as being able to order airlines meals delivered to your home, are looking to create all-new ways of monetising the hospitality industry.
Written By: Lisa Magloff