A north-east couple who have returned from living overseas will launch Aberdeen’s first independent food delivery app focused on supporting local businesses.
Aberdeen Eats is the brainchild of husband and wife team Fraser and Alison Scott, who, after living away from the city for seven and a half years, want to do something to help support the local community and independent firms.
Launching their food ordering app and website in the coming weeks, the duo say the coronavirus pandemic has maximised the need and want for delivery services. However, they are aware of the costs firms are paying to have their food and offerings highlighted on national delivery service platforms.
They want to create an operation that supports local businesses and only charge 7.5% commission in comparison to the higher percentage many of the major players charge.
Alison said: “Aberdeen Eats is very similar to the likes of Just Eat’s concept. It is a food ordering app which works for delivery or collection. We won’t be handling the delivery ourselves, it will be outlets who already have their own delivery drivers that will be handling that at the moment. Delivery might be something we’ll look to support in the future.
“We moved to Abu Dhabi in 2013 and did seven and a half years out there. We moved back in September 2020 and have been toying with this idea since we’ve been back.”
Easy to use, Aberdeen Eats would feature everything from independent restaurants to local butchers, fishmongers, bakers and more, ensuring every food business can get involved.
She added: “It is really easy to use software. You’ll be able to pick your meal and then navigate through to the payment element of the site. The business will then get a notification and will progress the order.
“Everyone would have their own profile with order history, there’s icons to highlight all the different food categories and it can tell you when the venue is open and closed, and estimated time of delivery.
“We will have exclusive discounts and offers with customers’ favourite venues and this will be open to butchers, bakers, fishmongers, fruit and veg suppliers. This app is exclusively for people living in Aberdeen and Aberdeen businesses.
“We’ll be covering 13 local community areas in Aberdeen and in Aberdeenshire, too. We’ll go as far north as Peterhead, down to Stonehaven and out to Inverurie for now. We’ll look at further afield as well.”
With food delivery a huge focus throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring businesses can get the right support from delivery apps is vital to Aberdeen Eats operation and ethics.
She said: “There’s a big demand for food delivery now because of the coronavirus pandemic. An opportunity arose and we thought it would be a fantastic business to bring to Aberdeen and support businesses in a time of need.
“We charge significantly less commission in comparison to other big competitors and some food outlets are choosing to use these platforms because there isn’t another option, but now we have an option for them. At the end of the day it will help save them money.
“We are going to be charging 7.5% commission. From what we have heard some of the bigger companies charge a lot more.
“It is for the Aberdeen businesses and it is for the people of Aberdeen. We are from Aberdeen and live here now and we’ll be reinvesting money back into the local community. We will also be supporting these businesses on our social media platforms.”
With the aim of partnering up with numerous charities, food banks and soup kitchens to further support the local community, Fraser and Alison have created a business which is for the people of Aberdeen, by the people of Aberdeen.
Fraser added: “Our key aim really is to get people to understand that there is another option out there instead of the big companies. We want customers to think about the ethical side of things when using the app as people these days don’t really understand the work that goes in behind all of it. This is about re-educating people on how these apps are used and the benefit an app like this can have on a local community.
“It is for the Aberdeen businesses and it is for the people of Aberdeen.
Alison Scott, Aberdeen Eats.
“We want to partner up with charities, foodbanks and soup kitchens. Times are hard at the moment and I don’t think foodbanks have been in bigger need than they have been recently. We’ll team up with our partners who will be featured on the app to provide food for foodbanks and local charities.
“One of the key things of Aberdeen Eats is the level of support we can give venues with the app in comparison to the other operators. We’ll be able to update venues menus and prices if need be, but they will also be able to make their own changes. If a menu item becomes sold out, they can update it instantaneously.”
Customers will also be able to pre-order goods when businesses are closed which will allow for them to plan and organise any collections and deliveries in advance.
Alison said: “There will be a pre-order option so for example, places that sell afternoon tea or cocktails, you can pre-order up to five days in advance. If you know at the start of the week you want to pick up afternoon tea for a birthday or celebration at the weekend, you can pre-order it.”
And employing staff may be on the horizon sooner rather than later as Fraser is certain demand for an app like this will continue to grow.
Fraser added: “Employment is always going to be an option for us as the catchment area we are looking at is very big. We are going to take on a lot of the management and admin side of things by adding the special offers, making menu amendments and that sort of thing.
“The website will be a desktop version of the app – so you don’t have to have the app to place an order. Some people might not feel comfortable using apps, but have no issues using websites, so it means that everyone can get access to it.
“Coronavirus has impacted people’s feelings on being out and about, so the delivery side of businesses will be much more important now to ensure the community can still get access to butchers and fishmongers etc.”