After conquering the townspeople, restaurant food delivery arrives in the countryside

The start-up Lyveat intends to make small towns and villages its preferred field to compete with the behemoths of the sector.

Receiving a meal from a restaurant at home in a few clicks or a phone call is a habit for many city dwellers. The delivery men from Über Eats, Just Eat or Deliveroo to name a few, are part of the landscape of large cities. This service, which has particularly developed with the successive confinements, more and more inhabitants of the French countryside can now benefit from it. The start-up Lyveat offers it in small towns and villages.

Long before the onset of the health crisis, Enzo Chagny and Maxime de Villeneuve noted the impossibility of having meals delivered to their homes in their native Haut-Bugey. “ There were a few pizza makers, but that’s it, we thought there was a real opportunity », Says Enzo Chagny. The two friends, aged 21 and 23, decide to set up their home delivery start-up in their town of Oyonnax. An idea that comes at the right time since barely a month after their first delivery in February 2020, the first confinement and the restaurant closings that accompany it give them a dazzling boost. “ The restaurants themselves called us because they had seen the concept in Ain and wanted the same “. Two other confinements follow, the reopening of restaurants does not happen and the start-up goes from two to 35 employees. It is developing in 4,800 municipalities and 121 agglomerations.

To see also – Julien Cote: “Wakeo predicts the delay in international deliveries”

Longer distances

The Lyveat app is quite similar to the one developed by its competitors. Customers order from partner restaurants and receive their food at home by independent delivery people. The main difference: while the delivery departments offered in large cities “ rarely exceed 3.5 km », Lyveat prides itself on going up to 30km around the restaurant. It therefore targets villages of 3000 inhabitants as well as agglomerations of small towns such as Bourg-en-Bresse, Langon, Deauville, or the ski resort of Megève.

Better paid delivery people

These extended distances require some adjustments. The deliverers remain independent, but the start-up has taken the lead in criticism of its competitors: it offers its delivery men to receive 100% of the delivery costs, with a remuneration of 1 euro per kilometer, plus two euros of catch in charge. The profile of delivery people is also more varied: we find bike delivery men in large cities, but during confinements and to cope with the decline in activity, taxis have also started to offer their services to Lyveat. The start-up also calls on small transport companies to extend distances. It equips all its deliverers with insulated boxes that keep food warm. Enzo Chagny assures that customers further from city centers, who are often families and organize themselves to order in advance, are willing to wait longer for their meal than city dwellers in a hurry.

” It’s very useful “

« The delivery allowed us to recover in one year the turnover that we had lost in catering », Says Salvator Mele, manager of the restaurant Les saveurs d’Italie in Oyonnax. He started his partnership with Lyveat at the start of the first lockdown because “ it was a good solution ”To continue selling its risottos, pasta, ravioli, and traditional Italian dishes. Contacted a few months earlier, he was not interested, but this year convinced him: “ now that we are there, we will keep it because it is very practical », « we can accept or not the order if we have too many people in the room, there is an interesting flexibility “. Lyveat, which is remunerated only by commissions from restaurateurs, does not offer a subscription and no start-up costs, “ so the restaurant does not lose anything if there is no order for six months », Explains Enzo Chagny.

« We had to support restaurants in their digitalization, there are some we go so far as to explain to them how to take a wifi subscription “. In parallel with this support for local restaurants, the start-up entered the big leagues by signing a contract with Mac Donald like its famous competitors. It started without any fundraising, and is now opening 5 to 10 delivery points per week. “ The health crisis allowed us to develop, the need was real, we felt useful », Rejoices the founder.

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