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Thinking of Launching Takeaway or Delivery? Melbourne Food-Delivery Platform Providoor Has Some Insights

Maha chef-owner Shane Delia built Providoor in six weeks and refined it over four lockdowns. Broadsheet is bringing him to Sydney (virtually) for a free webinar to help the restaurant industry grapple with its latest stay-at-home orders.

Like many things that came about in 2020, Providoor was a result of a Covid pivot. When coronavirus-related restrictions were put in place at eateries in Melbourne, chef-owner Shane Delia of Middle Eastern eateries Maha, Maha East and Maha Bar decided to take control of the situation and launch a food-delivery platform: Providoor.

But Delia didn’t go the conventional food-delivery route – he wanted to recreate the experience of dining at Melbourne’s best restaurants, but at home.

The main obstacle to achieving that restaurant-quality experience was food deteriorating on the journey to diners' homes. His solution? Having chefs prepare meals to be finished in customers' own kitchens (such as heating up and plating).

“We asked restaurateurs to change the way they think and to create a package of food that can be finished at home so that the quality is maintained,” he told Broadsheet at the time.

It took six weeks for Delia to launch Providoor in June of 2020 (“We moved at light speed”). He built on an At Home service he had created during the first lockdown earlier in the year for Maha. Part of that time was spent recruiting some of the city’s best eateries to the platform, including Supernormal, Maha, Di Stasio, Longrain and Gingerboy.

Broadsheet is bringing Delia to Sydney via a free webinar aimed at Sydney’s hospitality industry. Delia will share what he learnt from launching Providoor and offer tips gathered through four lockdowns.

Topics will include how to design a menu for home consumption that resonates with customers, how to replicate the dining-out experience in the home, which packaging works best and how to get the product from the restaurants to the customers. It'll be hosted by Broadsheet national editor Sarah Norris.

“I’ve learned a lot. We have so many learnings, mistakes and wins we can pass on to friends in Sydney as we know exactly what they’re going through,” he says. “As a passionate hospitality operator deeply embedded in the success and survival of our industry I feel it’s my duty to protect our much-needed restaurant industry by sharing the lessons we’ve learned here in Melbourne.”

What's the number-one thing he wishes he knew from the start? "Relationships are everything. You can have a great idea and all the money in the world but unless you have strong relationships built on trust nothing will be a success,” he says.

“I wish I had known 13 years ago how important it would be to connect directly and meaningfully with our Maha guests. Database is king and being able to regularly communicate with your guests through every channel is key. Collect their information and learn more about each individual.”

Broadsheet presents Providoor’s Shane Delia in a free webinar for Sydney’s hospitality industry. Hosted by Broadsheet national editor, Sarah Norris, Delia will share insights and learnings from launching a food-delivery business and riding the highs and lows of four lockdowns. The webinar is on Thursday July 1, 11.30am to 12.30pm. Register your attendance here.

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