Norfolk restaurateur’s online food delivery app is taking on national rivals
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A former King's Lynn restaurant owner is nearing the £1m turnover milestone after launching his own food delivery app to compete with national rivals.
Asad Zaman had owned his Indian cuisine restaurant for eight years when he was approached by national online food ordering service Just Eat, which invited him to come on board in return for a commission fee.
He said he didn't believe the commission model was viable for a small town restaurant – but it inspired him to create his own tech start-up company so customers could order their takeaway meals directly.
Mr Zaman and his brother Nawshad co-funded the creation of their website and app Feedbelly, which does not charge any commission on orders.
After expanding to include other local food companies, turnover has grown to almost £1m and the business serves 50,000 customers across King's Lynn, Norwich, Thetford, Northampton, Luton and Reading. And, in its original home town, Mr Zaman claims Feedbelly is now the 'largest food platform in King's Lynn', with 19 restaurants.
Having launched the site in mid-2014 Mr Zaman has now sold his restaurant to work as head of development for Feedbelly, saying: 'I realised I could help the industry more by doing this than owning my own restaurant.'
He added: 'I think that Feedbelly helps to improve the quality of meals but could also potentially be a healthier option.
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'As we redesign our new app we're looking to add all allergy information as well as calorie numbers, so that people can see the nutritional value of the meals.'
The company, which is now based in Cambridge, employs five people as well as having a coding team in New Delhi. Although the team plans to expand, they want to focus on smaller catchment areas which host around 50 restaurants.
Earlier this month, the company represented the UK in the finals of the 11th China UK Entrepreneurship Competition in Chongqing, winning awards for the most scalable business model and most innovative technology.
'It was an amazing cultural and business experience and we are thrilled to have taken part in the competition,' said Mr Zaman.