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TV chef and restaurateur Shane Delia had a light-bulb moment last year during Melbourne's long lockdown: how to get the food from the city's top restaurants to their customers.
Delia's Providoor start-up pulled $40 million in revenue across Melbourne restaurants in its first year, and from Wednesday, July 21, Sydney restaurants will join the party.
Top-shelf eateries Icebergs, LuMi, Monopole and Golden Century are among the first batch of Sydney restaurants to roll out through the Providoor platform.
Delia, who jumped to prominence with his SBS series focused on the Middle East, says demand for home-delivered meals from the likes of Supernormal and Tipo 00 in Melbourne remained, even when restrictions eased.
"We always planned to push into Sydney, [but current events] have made us move quickly. I want our industry to survive," he says.
Providoor's model is a little different. "We don't do hot food served hot," Delia says. His instruction to chefs is: "No skill or glory required, no chopping, not complex ... from the time you open the box you should be eating in 15 to 30 minutes."
Delia believes his early success has been driven by his tech partnerships and tie-in with established distributors. "We'll be able to deliver next day to most of the state [NSW]," he says.