Cooking a quality meal at home from scratch takes too much time and effort in planning and executing. The convenience of eating out or using take-away options is appealing when most of us work an average of 48 hours per week, but it's expensive and often unhealthy. At the same time, there's little product choice in local grocery stores which means that many of us re-produce the same unimaginative go-to dishes from week to week.
Dinnr is an alternative, making it simple to select a delicious-looking meal online and have the measured ingredients and recipe delivered so customers can whip up an amazing meal at home. By using Dinnr, customers don't have to spend mental energy and time figuring out what recipes to cook, they don't have to spend time searching through supermarkets looking for the right ingredients and there are no leftovers. At the same time, our easy-to-use instructions make it a breeze to learn how to make amazing dishes - quickly.
Dinnr delivers recipe ingredient kits without requiring a subscription or any other commitment. We've recently launched a new, user-friendly website and are constantly refining our recipes and processes. We offer an ultra-flexible service with 18 delivery slots per week (3 per day, 6 days a week) which can be delivered to you at home or work and every week we provide a new set of recipes. Each day, 6 dishes (that change on a weekly basis and constitute a common theme, e.g. a certain local cuisine, cook like a famous chef, etc.) are available for same-day delivery (which substantially improves our operations) and the other recipes are available on a next-day basis in London (add 1 day for deliveries outside London).
Cooking a quality meal at home from scratch takes too much time and effort to plan and execute. The average person’s lack of skills and a limited product choice in inner-city supermarkets lead to a narrow repertoire of dishes. Online recipes are often not well-curated and leave room for doubt. Ingredients bought in bulk end up being wasted. These obstacles result in heavy use of takeaway food and ready-made meals (often unhealthy) or restaurants (often expensive).
Dinnr provides a real alternative by delivering ingredients with a recipe to create exciting meals at home. By using Dinnr, customers don't have to spend mental energy and time figuring out what recipes to cook, they don't have to spend time searching through supermarkets looking for ingredients and there are no leftovers. At the same time, our easy-to-use instructions make it a breeze to learn how to make delicious dishes quickly.
In a nutshell, we hope to durably transform how people discover new recipes and want to foster a better dine-in culture. We also want to leave our mark on how people LEARN to cook. Have you ever gone to a cooking class? Everything is prepared for you, you just dice a few onions and score a duck breast - it's fantastically simple but doesn't offer much room for actual learning. The most important aspects (like time management) are being completely neglected in most ad-hoc cooking classes.
We want to radically change this (and ultimately build our own cooking academies). We believe that the best way to learn is by doing and reducing the cognitive load that surrounds cooking. We think that Dinnr could become the best way to learn to cook.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Dinnr launched in September 2012 and has had solid month-on-month growth (30%) until February 2013, garnering 1,600 FB likes and over 1,100 Twitter followers. People like what we're doing but we realised that we had to increase user retention. We spent the following few months investing in an improved product proposition.
At www.dinnr.co.uk, you'll see that we now have:
*) Weekly changing menus around a theme. We have created X weeks' worth of tested recipes to-date.
*) A membership feature with volume discount
*) Professional, visceral photography
*) A recipe library (bit.ly/15UC9Wq) that drives user-generated and curated content
All of this has worked! We now achieve very high customer satisfaction rankings, with a Net Promoter Score of 52.5, and our customer retention has improved as well.
We did not put efforts into marketing and sales to save our resources for product development. Now that we've got a great offering, we're ready to increase our user acquisition efforts and are looking for investment to help us with this.
When at volume (100+ orders per week), we expect to make at least 30% gross margin, pushing 40%. We also plan to add kitchen utensils and wine into the offering which will increase this further.
Traditional business model: buying in bulk and selling at retail.
A note on delivery cost: Delivery in London is expected to be reduced to £2 per order. We ran a test with a delivery person on a motorbike, gave him 10 addresses to visit scattered between Pimlico and Old Street Roundabout and asked him to wait for 5 minutes at each address, simulating delivery. He managed to visit all 10 addresses including waiting time in 2 hours 8 minutes on a Friday afternoon during rush hour.
Use of proceeds
During the next 6-12 months, after significant traction, we plan to pitch for an angel round (£300-£500K). To keep us going until then and to help drive our user acquisition we're looking for at least £15K.
Based on our user research, we'll target busy urban professionals with a solid disposable income, aged 25+ (women) 30+ (men), and couples with young or no children.
Characteristics of target market
Market Size: The grocery market in the UK is estimated at £163B (2012) with the category of recipe-based ingredient delivery worth an estimated £340M (that is translating the Swedish market size of £51M (2011) to UK population).
Market Gap: The market for subscription-based weekly deliveries contains a number of big players (Hellofresh, Jessica's Recipe Bag, Gousto).
We think a gap exists for individual meals delivered on the same day without requiring a subscription and for a service emphasising the dining experience rather than grocery delivery. And, our current customer retention rate is proving that we're on to something.
1. Facebook. We will run targeted ads and one sponsored story per day, measuring traffic and conversions accordingly to increase efficiency. Around £580/month
2. Twitter. Minor channel but worth mentioning. We'll spend 15-20 minutes a day following/un-following and sharing value-adding content to build our user base No spend, only time (3 hours per week)
3. SEO. With the new recipe feature we will be highly SEOable, which means it will be much easier for us to appear in search engine results. This is a long-term, strategic tactic. Time investment tbd
4. Affiliate networks. We'd also like to test out display ads appearing on popular food blogs and sites test e.g/ http://uk. affiliatewindow. com/solutions/ Around £300-400 / month
5. Referral program Start with a £10 referral programme (£10 for referrer, £10 for referee) until going back to a more sustainable £5 fee. First month - probably £500, then £250 Time investment low
6. Forums Well actively participate in online forums such as East Dulwich Forum - regularly post there We'll also test Reddit.
7. Vicinitee and other employee voucher programs We'll test these programmes if free and performance-based.
8. PR A few days before official launch, send test pack to known journos. (20x) and keep reminding them cost: (one-off) £100
9. Partnerships with other companies Investigate which channel to go for (prob Channel 4 a la Come Dine With Me) Small startups where we do quid pro quo.
1. Google retargeting £50 per month currently. Probably up to £200/month when we get enough traffic to prove valuable.
2. Newsletter 2 types - a) the usual & b) weekly menu updates with promotions and exciting content
3. Optimize email loop with auto-responders and behavioural email. Aim is to get people either to order or to unsubscribe. We are not a media business. Automated emails and intelligent communications using customer. io, mixpanel and litmus.
Dinnr competes by offering same day delivery, 6 days a week (total of 18 delivery slots per week) and greater customer choice in allowing them to pick their dishes. In the UK the main competitors are: − Hellofresh. co. uk, $10m funding 12/2012 − Gousto. co. uk, £1m funding 08/2013, started 06/2012 − Jessica's Recipe Bag (UK business partnership with Swedish trailblazer Linas Matkasse, who received 4. 4m EUR funding 05/2011) − Housebites - a me-too concept without substantial funding, we assume.
Potential competitors are any supermarkets who could start specializing in providing such a service. Some key things which Dinnr plans to and is already focusing on to give us an edge over our competition:
1. Flexibility - All our competitors focus on subscription and only deliver once or twice a week. Dinnr does not require subscription and delivers fresh ingredients 6 days per week. Dinnr also offers same-day delivery with a minimum time window of one hour between order and delivery - this is unheard of on other sites.
2. Focus on customer service - because it is not a must-have product, customer service is the be-all and end-all of our service. We think we have already shown success in this area. Our Net Promoter Score is very high and 96% of our customers give us 4 or 5 out of 5 stars. We think the little details matter and include little after dinner sweets and a candle in each bag. And, if there ever is an issue, we rectify it immediately. I am including this graph to prove high net promoter score Inline images 1
3. Operational edge - we’re building operational capabilities with cooling / rapid packaging and same-day delivery that make our service superior as an ad-hoc service while our competitors only focus on weekly deliveries.
4. Driving loyalty through experience - We go after a different segment than our competitors. We provide an experience product where the details matter a lot (they provide ingredients for dinners - we provide a dining experience, complete with starter, dessert, music and wine). This takes diligence and effort - and we believe that a competitor following standard copycat formulae won’t have the patience to get the details right. This focus on the right experience is something that customers make an emotional connection with - which drives loyalty and retention.