The employee catering market is dominated by two main types of players. The behemoths that provide meals in the canteens of large groups such as Elior, Sodexo or Compass. And meal voucher specialists (Edenred, Groupe Up, Apetiz, Swile, etc.) which offer employees the possibility of eating out. In the middle, the digital canteen i-lunch tries to find his way.
Founded in 2017, this start-up allows employees of its partner companies to order a meal for lunch via a mobile application. Reservations can be made three days in advance, and up to 10 a.m. on D-Day.
The foodtech then takes care of the delivery to the office. At mealtime, employees just have to pick it up. While traditional canteens only offer a few dishes on the menu, i-lunch has a range of 600 recipes in its catalog and wants to best match the eating habits of employees.
In order to adapt to changes in the world of work, i-lunch also allows people who work from home to be delivered with fresh products once a week. “It’s the canteen at home”, sums up Victoria benhaim, the boss and founder of i-lunch, who was made aware of the issue of healthy eating during her previous experience at the head of Liva, an e-health start-up. Sodexo has also developed a solution for teleworkers through several partnerships (Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Food Chéri, Seazon).
i-lunch also installs connected fridges or “food corners” in offices, where employees can buy products at any time of the day, and real cafeterias with staff. The young growth finally offers to deliver dishes for special events (afterwork, breakfast, etc.). i-lunch has chosen to internalize its logistics chain. Its refrigerated vans thus make daily deliveries to its customers in a given geographic area.
To continue its development, foodtech has just completed a funding round of 5 million euros with the Banque des Territoires, Karista via the Paris Region Venture Fund (PRVF), Financière Tuileries and Noveo. “The catering sector has been impacted by the health crisis and is undergoing very rapid change. Now is the time to accelerate, ”said Victoria Benhaim.
I-lunch provides its solutions to companies such as Adecco, Labeyrie, Castalie, Wojo and Jennyfer. The company is active in Ile-de-France, but is considering expanding to the region in the near future. i-lunch will have to have a solid back since the traditional players in collective catering are going digital to meet new market expectations and the multiple players in food e-commerce are also targeting employees.