A Melbourne start-up has turned the traditional food delivery operating model on its head by supplying fresh meals to customers via state-of-the-art thermal lockers located around the CBD and inner-city suburbs for a contactless and convenient experience.

Not only does Foodifox deliver, but they also employ executive and sous chefs to cook one special meal each day and distribute it across the city for those who opt into that day’s menu item on the Foodifox app.

To help reduce food waste, customers must submit their order by 10am to assist catering requirements and choose a two-hour window to pick up their food from one of 20 heated lockers which are accessed via QR code on the app. The lockers keep the food at 75-degrees Celsius until it’s picked up.

With 20 pick-up points around Melbourne and corporate partners including Carsales, Foodifox aims to fill a gap in the booming food service industry – which is experiencing up to 40% growth year-over-year – by bringing a new and unique concept that adds value to the entire market.

Foodifox CEO, Shawn Yi describes the service as fair to staff, convenient for customers and an environmentally friendly way of delivering food without the middleman.

“We invite the community to share their recipes with us and our recipe providers, Foodifox Flames, collaborate with our in-house chefs to recreate the meals and make them available to customers. By doing so, we can offer a range of cuisines from Chinese and Japanese to European and Modern Australian,” he told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

“With thousands of people travelling into Melbourne CBD for work every day, we asked ourselves, ‘how can we bring food to these people and make the workplace the point of sale’. So we looked at the customer pain points when it comes to food delivery services with cost a significant factor. By leveraging economies of scale to ensure high quality, we can offer meals for $11 including delivery.

“By using a similar strategy to Australia Post, we deliver our meals to parcel pick-up points instead of front doors. This means our delivery drivers have a specific and consistent route they follow each time, and our customers are sent an alert when their food is ready for pick-up. However, we believe our business model is unique not only in Australia but in the world as we produce the meals in our own kitchen.”

Looking ahead, Yi hopes to grow the catchment in metro and suburban areas by expanding the number of locker locations, as well as further develop the cuisines and recipes on offer. Over the last two years, the Foodifox team has grown to 30 staff including chefs, delivery drivers and marketing personnel. Most recently, the delivery service engaged with an external marketing agency and PR agency to build brand awareness.