For a profession that was left in tatters when Covid first arrived, the Camden Home Cooks model has quickly started to offer some major new advantages for the boroughs many talented chefs. With no upfront costs or the risk of betting everything on a restaurant concept that doesn’t take off, chefs can test out wild ideas, refine dishes to perfection, and make a decent return for far less gruelling hours and working conditions.
“The other side of all this is tackling the disillusionment within the world of hospitality,” says Andy. “It’s been made so much more difficult to survive with the likes of Deliveroo coming into the market. For small restaurant-owners, you can’t afford not to be on their platform yet they take a massive commission, so you can end up losing money on every order.”
While the business press have gushed over the explosion in food delivery, the negative side of the coin tends to have been focused on the bad deal that the zero hours drivers get, as opposed to on the economic clobbering chefs and restaurateurs may also be experiencing.
“Deliveroo is so convenient for people, but it’s a hugely toxic environment for everyone in hospitality,” says Andy. “Home delivery is up 30-40% in the last few years, but can you think of a single restaurant brand that’s grown that much as a result? Prices keep getting higher to cover the huge commissions, so the ‘success’ of the model actually means more expensive food for the customer and massive losses for the restaurants. It’s a ridiculous situation.”