As Victoria enters stage three of its response to coronavirus we've all been urged to stay home unless absolutely necessary, which means one of our city's favourite activities – dining out – is off the cards.
Many restaurants have already pivoted to takeaway, and some have signed up to work with the big players in the food-delivery game, but some of those charge venues up to 35 per cent in fees, encroaching on already thin hospitality industry margins.
Melbourne-based startup Mr Yum is a free online platform that lets you see what your meal will look like before you order it – simply scan a QR code on the menu at a participating restaurant – and now it's offering an alternative delivery option; one that takes only 4.5 per cent commission.
“We’ve got heaps of restaurants in our customer lists that are not on delivery apps at all,” says Mr Yum CEO and co-founder Kim Teo. “And we just started floating the idea with them about creating a very localised website that had just Collingwood and Fitzroy venues on it.”
Launching today, Mr Yum’s new local site lets you scroll through and order direct from a list of venues. So far, you can order burgers from B.East Brunswick Street, gyoza and tinnies from Chotto Motto, brekkie and produce boxes from Proud Mary, slices from Shawcross Pizza and more.
Mr Yum has partnered with Sydney startup Drive Yello to run the delivery platform, which sends you a text when your food’s en route and lets you track its progress on a map. And, while it just covers Collingwood and Fitzroy for now, Teo hopes to create different online hubs for different areas – including Melbourne's south-side suburbs and in Sydney.
“The concept is all around local residents supporting their local businesses,” says Teo. “It’s restaurants and cafes that you already went to anyway … and would love to be going to if you weren’t having to stay at home.”