Growth of innovative online food delivery brand

A Leeds business is targeting poor productivity and food waste by delivering delicious fresh, nutritionally balanced meals to workers across Leeds city centre. And now, it wants to take its innovative model to workplaces across the UK with a bid for £120,000 in crowdfunding.

Lean Lunch delivers chef-made dishes by bike to hundreds of time-poor workers across Leeds who are looking for a healthier, tastier alternative to uninspiring sandwich and crisps meal deals. And while it has seen phenomenal demand from individual customers, 70 per cent of its sales come from businesses, as firms like Sky, Arla and Burberry realise the benefits of focusing on their teams’ health, through healthier meeting catering or offering lunches as wellbeing perks for their teams.

Lean Lunch, which launched in 2017, is on course to organically double its turnover in 2019, and it is now looking to secure funding to grow its customer base in Yorkshire and replicate its successful model in other UK cities.

Founder Sat Mann came up with the idea for Lean Lunch after shopping for and preparing a healthy lunch to eat in the office became time consuming and uninspiring. The business, run by Sat and his wife Charlotte, is committed to a more sustainable way of eating that creates healthier people and a healthier planet and that helps businesses educate and support their teams to eat better now and in the future. Because meals are made to order, there’s no over-production, chefs use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible to reduce food miles, and because most deliveries are within a few of miles of the Lean Lunch kitchen in Kirkstall, they’re nearly all done by cargo bike. Plus, all Lean Lunch’s packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.

Lean Lunch is the first and only online food business in the north dedicated to wellbeing and sustainability, tapping in to growing demand from consumers for better, less processed food that’s convenient but doesn’t have a negative effect on the planet. Lean Lunch meals use all natural ingredients, including only natural occurring sugars, are low in salt and contain no preservatives. The range includes vegan, gluten-free and dairy free options and takes its inspiration from cuisines from across the world.

“Eating highly processed food is harming our health and the health of the planet,” says Sat.

“And the problem isn’t just the junk we eat, it’s the nutritious food we don’t eat. Research shows that employees with poor diets are 66 per cent more likely to see reductions in productivity than those who have a nutritious, balanced diet, and 75 per cent of adults struggle to achieve their five-a-day.

“So, we’ve created a fresh, convenient alternative to pre-packed lunches that help maintain energy levels and deliver at least three of your five a day, with restaurant quality taste and variety that you just couldn’t make at home.

“We’re committed to inspiring and empowering people living in busy city environments to make better choices for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet, and to supporting people to eat more healthily and sustainably.”

Both the menus and software used to order meals have been developed in-house by the Lean Lunch team and they’ve got big ambitions for the future. Lean Lunch wants to create a model that can be easily replicated, so the Leeds model can be recreated in other locations across the UK.

“We want to refine the ordering process to make it truly personalised,” says Sat.

“Currently, you can filter by dietary requirements, but we’d like to be able to automate this so you get menu recommendations based on your personal preferences.

“We’d love to develop an app and have a fleet of electric vehicles that can deliver to industrial parks and offices outside of the city centre too.”

For more information on the crowdfunding campaign or to arrange interviews, contact Sat Mann on 0113 4032162,

07399 456020 or sat@leanlunch.co.uk. To invest, go to crowdcube.com/leanlunch   

In a year, Lean Lunch has:

  • Made more than 40,000 meals
  • Doubled production from 5,375 in Q1 of 2018 to 10,530 in Q1 of 2019
  • Increased revenue by 380 per cent from 2017 to 2019 (£7k Q1 2017, £34k Q1 2019).
  • Secured 65 per cent of orders from repeat customers
  • Generated £108K of turnover in 2018 and on course to double that in 2019
  • Created ambitious plans to increase its reach in Leeds and expand to other UK cities

How Lean Lunch works:

  • Meals are devised by a chef with the help of a nutritionist to include at least three of your five a day and balanced macros
  • You can order meals up to 10 days ahead and at least one day before
  • Choose your dietary requirements and pick how often you want meals delivered
  • Ingredients are sourced in just the right quantity from local suppliers
  • Meals are prepared fresh in exactly the right quantities and delivered via a fleet of cargo cycles within the boundaries of Leeds city centre
  • You can order single meals, cater for five to 500 people or provide subsidised meals for your team
  • Meals range in price from £4 to £7 and include hot and cold options, including breakfast
  • The Lean Lunch team will run nutrition seminars and workshops to educate and inspire businesses and their teams
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