Having expanded from just 38 chefs in September 2013 to over 260 today with 2 more coming on-line each day, La Belle Assiette has clearly established itself the French leader, if not European leader, in their space. This rapid jump in chef on-boarding has also increased substantially the number of events La Belle Assiette’s platform handles each day. Across France, La Belle Assiette now handles 6 events daily for a total volume of close to $120,000 (86 000 €). This increase in liquidity has also enabled them to bring new service improvements to their customers, including the ability to book a chef just 24-hrs in advance.
When I first talked with co-founder Stephen Leguillon a year ago, he insisted that their plan was to very quickly roll-out across and establish a leadership position in France and then rapidly expand to new markets. With their launch last week in Belgium and their announcement that they’ll be launching in the UK, Switzerland, and Luxembourg by early-June, their expansion looks to be advancing according to plan. For now, all international operations will be run from their Paris-office, but this will undoubtedly evolve as they continue to expand. Thus far though, their break-neck growth and expansion is even more impressive given that they’ve only raised 350k € thus far. Their two biggest competitors today are US-based – Kitchsensurfing, who have a presence in Europe in Berlin, and Kitchit, who are only in the US for the moment. This expansion gives them a great opportunity to rapidly solidify their #1 position in Europe before others start to wise up to big opportunity Europe, with its strong food and restaurant culture, offers.
Their roll-out across Europe is off to an impressive start as several chefs in Belgium have already been on-boarded to the platform and 70+ are currently being on-boarded across Switzerland, the UK and Luxembourg. This quick ramp-up is undoubtedly due to one of the most important things that the La Belle Assiette team does particularly well…communicating the value of their platform and service to chefs. For many chefs, La Belle Assiette has been an incredibly welcome addition to their industry as they not only bring chefs clients, but they also run the planning, customer service, equipment and billing, taking away a lot of the headache for chefs looking to offer in-home dining services. A couple of chefs have even found the service to be so effective and lucrative for them that they quit their jobs to work full-time as La Belle Assiette chefs.
Their international launch is only the first step in a broader vision to bring fine, high-quality dining to consumers across various occasions. Stephen Leguillon adds:
“This is a huge opportunity a we are essentially cutting into the food industry as a whole. Our Chefs, supported by a strong team and technology, will be able to provide for all your dining needs. Whether it’s a high end dinner, a quick team lunch in your office, or the delivery of a meal or two, La Belle Assiette will be just a few clicks and a card payment away.”