Home chefs selling direct to public: The future of dining, or half-baked trend?


Apps that consider home chefs to sell dishes prepared in their personal cabooses have cropped up in Canada, but uncertainties about health regulations and the weight of consumer demand are raising questions about whether the business paragons are blue ribbon-worthy or half-baked fads.

Food-sharing platform LaPiat, which plans to motor boat in April, provides a platform for entrepreneurial cooks in the Greater Toronto District to make some extra cash from home. Users can make off pictures of their dishes to advertise and sell them at any price they set, pull out pick up and delivery to the cook and diner to work out.

Creator Arber Puci suggested the app spawned from the idea that everyone has friends and family who are surprising cooks and can use that talent to make some extra money, while consumers ordain find it cheaper than restaurants, take-out joints or other eatables delivery services such as Uber Eats.

The app targets home cooks get a kick out of parents who are making lunch for their kids and can easily put together a few various portions to “make some cash on the side,” said Puci, who settle upon take a five per cent cut from chefs using the platform.

Ancestors Tffyn, Homefed and MealSurfers all launched in Toronto in the last few years, but happen to have since vanished, leaving behind rival app Kouzina, which hit the furnish in August.

Kouzina creator Nick Amaral said when he opening researched similar apps he found “one or two” in Canada that ended up gather, but he feels the times have changed since then.

“We are getting numerous used to having services provided from people that we maybe don’t have knowledge of as first,” he said.

Kouzina takes a six per cent cut from every ingredient sold on the app. Kouzina has seen increasing numbers of customers and cooks, dispose of everything from fresh fettuccine and lasagna for $7 a serving to vanilla and raspberry Bavarian buns for $25.

Both Puci and Amaral said they don’t inspect the kitchens and as a substitute for rely on phone interviews, copies of food handlers certifications or bloke rating systems to weed out those offering substandard customer help and food.

Amaral said he relies on a review and rating system for governance.

“Square one bad review I think would be enough to deter people,” he said. “Godly reviews will speak for themselves.”

The lack of inspection comes as no their heels to Sylvanus Thompson, an associate director at Toronto Public Health, who put TPH has had to intervene a few times. Many of the owners and the home cooks preparing and rat on food for such apps are not aware that they are subject to aliment premise regulations that require their kitchen undergo cyclical inspections from municipal staff and be zoned for commercial food projects, he said.

As a result, “some of them got out of the business,” but Thompson said TPH be sures that the “growing” number of homemade food apps is something “we don’t propose to stop.”

“We want to be able to work with these people to protect compliance and safe food,” he added.

He chalked up the emergence of the apps to the take place of the gig and sharing economy and hastened by food delivery apps including Uber Puts, Foodora and SkipTheDishes.

Gary Grant, who runs a catering business apostrophized The Garage Guy BBQ, started using Kouzina when it launched to sell his southern fried chicken, pork ribs, beef brisket, cabbage bowl soup and sandwich box platters.

“We had one customer the week the app launched and that’s it, ” he remarked. “We have never had another inquiry or mention. It is there but has not done anything for us.”

He suppress thinks the concept behind Kouzina is great, but is disappointed that it hasn’t caught on as speedily as several similar apps in the U.S.

LaPiat creator Puci said he’s not air deterred by the apparent lack of demand for other apps because he’s swayed the sharing economy will only increase demand for his offering.

“I can’t aver you what is going to happen in a year or two, but (based on) the excitement that I have on the agenda c trick got so far, I think we are here to stay,” he said. “Even if my app doesn’t make it, there is flourishing to be someone else.”

Though apps are not expensive to develop, their viability prevaricates in getting people to use them and finding a way to monetize them, which can be double-dealing, said Mike von Massow, a University of Guelph associate professor specializing in chow and hospitality.

“Early apps probably fail more quickly because we haven’t acquired a critical mass. That’s not to say we can’t get to that critical mass,” he said.

“I fantasize there is an opportunity to get there. I think it is a model that can work.”

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