Ipswich entrepreneur launches new delivery service for home cooks

Banquet founder Benjamin Appleby in Ipswich

Young entrepreneur Benjamin Appleby has launched a new website which he hopes will be the next Deliveroo - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Ipswich entrepreneur hopes to rival the big guns of Deliveroo and UberEats with his new food delivery service aimed to help those starting their own businesses.

Finance student Benjamin Appleby, 25, said he hopes his new Banquet delivery service will help to "unite communities through food", while providing chefs displaced by the pandemic and prospective cooks alike the chance to start their own businesses.

Former One Sixth Form College student Benjamin said he was inspired to launch the business in 2018 after working alongside his girlfriend Kiana in serving up Caribbean food from their home kitchen.

He hopes the platform will inspire more people to get into sharing their cultures and becoming their own boss.

Mr Appleby said: "I've always wanted to be self-employed and to tap into something new which others maybe haven't thought of.

"Instead of opening the 200th fashion store, I decided to start something valuable that benefits people.

"The aim is to spread the love for home-cooked food, to get cooks together under one roof and bring communities together through the medium of food.

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"Everyone loves a home-cooked meal."

Benjamin Appleby, founder of Banquet, in Ipswich

Mr Appleby wants to help prospective cooks and hospitality staff affected by the pandemic - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

All cooks are required to hold a level 2 food hygiene certificate and are asked to register with their local authority before signing up to the service, which takes 3% commission from the first 100 chefs who sign up.

Cooks must also provide ID to Banquet to be verified.

Mr Appleby said: "There are so many displaced hospitality workers at the minute because of the pandemic.

"They all have great skills, ones which don't go missing overnight just because a restaurant has closed.

"These could be people who need to make extra money, those who have sadly lost their jobs, or people who want to set up their own business but don't feel comfortable in buying a restaurant in the current climate.

"Banquet gives them a great opportunity to make a living for themselves. If we can help one person who was struggling last week to feel better the next week, then we're doing things right."

The service is looking for cooks in Ipswich to get involved and aims to eventually spread globally.

Mr Appleby said: "The idea is to scale it as far as we can – sustainability is a real passion of mine, and it would be great to be able to provide chefs with sustainable ingredients and produce in the future while keeping costs low for both cooks and customers.

"I'm so passionate about bringing positive change."

More information can be found here or by searching "Banquet - Food Delivery" on the App Store.

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