Voilà founders Julius Wiesenhütter and Florian Berg have been joined by Mostafa Nageeb.
Fine dining at home? The Berlin start-up Voilà sees itself as a delivery service for gourmet menus. The business has been up and running for more than half a year. Now the makers have raised around 8.7 million euros to expand into Europe after launching their platform in Germany.
Cooking boxes have seen tremendous development since the lockdown waves of the pandemic. Voilá has succeeded in rallying renowned star chefs behind it and has come closer to achieving its stated goal of" taking the topic of cooking boxes to a new level in top gastronomy." This is certainly due in no small part to the professionalism of the founders Julius Wiesenhütter (CEO) and Florian Berg (COO), both of whom have delivery experience with brands such as Foodora and Foodpanda. Mostafa Nageeb has joined the founding team as CPO.
Acceptance by chefs and guests
The concept aims to bring
menus in to-the-point prepared cooking boxes from top restaurants to private kitchens
, where they can be completed even by less skilled hobby cooks. The key to success is therefore not only to win over enough customers from the fine dining scene, but also acceptance on the guest side.
The trio has evidently been able to dispel uncertainties on this path, both on the part of Top Chefs and their discerning clientele, both in terms of the subject of creation and the delivery of home fine dining menus. Time for the next step to Europe, expansion of the team as well as technology investments.
In addition to already proven investors such as Food Labs from Berlin
and business angels such as Roger Hassan
, ex-COO of the cooking box shipper Hellofresh, Voilà has brought additional financial partners on board for the expansion, first and foremost EQT Ventures.
Voilà guests order an exclusive 3-to-5-course menu from the restaurant of their choice on the Home Fine Dining portal by Wednesday evening at the latest. The dishes are packed in jars or sous-vide bags
and shipped in a recyclable cooler. The customer pays 9.90 euros shipping and handling, and Voilà receives commission from the restaurant. Voilà collects the boxes from the restaurants, which are delivered to the customer by Friday noon using DHL Express or Go.
Videos of the chef and cooking instructions can be
called up via QR code
. Each course takes five to ten minutes to prepare. Finally, the customer receives his or her desired menu within 24 hours and can complete it at the weekend at any time with just a few simple steps. A music list coordinated with the menu and wine accompaniment round off the experience.
Around 25 top restaurants are now accessible via the website
. Current partners of Voilà are, for example, the Gasthaus zur Linde in Stuttgart
(1 star), the Berlin low-waste restaurant BRIKZ
of star chef Arne Anker or the Mannheim Opus V
(2 stars), as well as the Neuköllner Speisekneipe Tisk
, decorated with a Green Michelin star.
, we not only bring restaurants and food lovers together, but also deliver unique restaurant experiences to their homes and create a community," Florian Berg emphasizes, adding precisely the point that sets the Home Fine Dining portal apart from usual delivery platforms. "Because in addition to placing orders ,
our portal offers a wide range of discovery opportunities, information on trends
and developments in top gastronomy, and space for exchange among food lovers."
The prices for a menu differ depending on the restaurant and range from 40 to 120 euros per person
. "About the minimum order quantity of two menus, we always achieve an interesting basket size," emphasizes Wiesenhütter. The beverage accompaniment offers additional earning opportunities
for the restaurateurs.
Voilà does not charge a basic fee from its partner chefs, but receives a percentage commission of the order value. In return, Voilà takes over central operational activities as a service provider, such as setting up and coordinating nationwide or Europe-wide logistics and digital infrastructure, and providing high-quality packaging for passive cooling of the food
. In particular, however, Voilà supports its partners through efficient and tailored marketing.
In Germany alone, there are more than 300 Michelin Guide-awarded restaurants; in other European countries, the density is significantly higher. Through Voilà, chefs and cooks gain access to completely new target groups, although Wiesenhütter emphasizes that " Voilà is not intended to replace a visit to a restaurant
. It's another way to get to know restaurateurs and unique cuisines."