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Sustained outcomes start with the right community of solvers.
When COVID-19 lockdowns left Australia’s restaurants struggling to survive, chef Shane Delia – the man behind Melbourne’s legendary Maha concept, determined to keep the sleeves of his chef’s whites rolled up for the industry – had an idea. What if, while the country’s best restaurants were closed, there was a way of bringing the best of their experiences into the home? From degustation menus to music, to make this moment in history, by reimagining what it means to dine in.
Enter Providoor, delivering ‘finish-at-home’ meals from some of the country’s most popular restaurants. The global ‘meal-kit’ delivery market is expected to be valued at AU$27 billion by 2027, underpinned by compound growth of around 13% each year, according to Grand View Research, Inc. The platform's proof is not only in the pudding, but its entire experience, evidenced by overwhelming demand from day one. Eighteen months and one million meals later, Providoor is heading global, with a world-class team of human-led and tech-powered solvers.
PwC Australia is proud to be supporting Providoor in expanding its team, business and impact, serving sustained outcomes for the global hospitality sector.Watch Shane Delia, Founder of Providoor, in conversation with PwC Australia's Sue Horlin.
This tech start-up has not only succeeded in bringing businesses back from the brink through lockdown, but has forged in the fire an entirely new revenue stream as restaurants re-emerge in a new era for hospitality, worldwide.
A celebrated local chef, Shane has attracted some of Australia’s top restaurants to Providoor, and delivered real value for all involved. Shane’s proven slice of the pie has delivered more than 500,000 meals during the pandemic, in Melbourne alone. He knows the quality of the platform means nothing without the quality of people and places on it, and those working in it. This meant building the foundation for a strong and successful future, delivering sustained outcomes for all involved, “from farmers to drivers, supporting the entire restaurant ecosystem”, says Shane. With the platform’s premium focus, “the idea is to showcase the best in every class. That could mean a degustation, or a $15 ramen”.
Unlike other delivery platforms, Providoor reimagined the home delivery model ensuring high-quality dishes from the best restaurants could be enjoyed, just as the chef intended. It’s an approach that lives up to Shane’s founding philosophy, “to create memorable experiences that exceed expectations." Customers receive instructions put together by the chefs themselves, as well as extra touches like restaurant-curated playlists to create the right ambiance at home. Shane’s pandemic pivot has kept families and friends connected too. From new parents that were previously unable to find the time to try that restaurant that everyone’s been talking about, to old friends looking for a new way to connect by taking Providoor cooking classes together online - “the stories we hear and see shared are just incredible”, says Shane. “I’ve had restaurant owners message in the early hours of the morning to say Providoor saved their business and countless stories from the home with the platform bringing families, friends, and couples closer”. Keeping the passion for exploring new foodie experiences alive, 70% of Providoor’s customers in Melbourne have tried a restaurant for the first time through the service.
Taking the seat at the top of the table is Tim MacKinnon, Providoor’s new CEO. “I’m incredibly excited by the possibilities of Providoor, and taking this leap together”, says Tim. “What really great food does is create a deeper human connection and elevate conversation”. With more than 10 years experience leading one of the most successful regions for one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, switching from selling sneakers to sous vide is a seamless transition for Tim, driven by his commitment to helping local businesses grow and take advantage of opportunities online. “I’m deeply passionate about helping small businesses do big things”, says Tim. Previously representing 40,000 local retailers, 900 million active global buyers and A$13bn in global revenues, Tim’s experience provides an important blueprint in building new experiences for restaurants and foodies alike. “It’s an exciting moment to celebrate the journey we’ve been on, and a bold statement for the future as together we build a world class team to take Providoor to the world” adds Shane.
With Tim in the equation, Providoor teamed up with PwC Australia, M&A advisory firm Findex, and Shane’s trusted local accountancy, to rebuild the business structure to support the company’s growth. This meant creating the right incentives model to bring onboard the best mind in tech, like Tim, to help make that happen.
Joshua Day, Managing Director at PwC Australia,specialising in designing and implementing an effective management incentive structure says, “the structure in place with Providoor was perfect for a restaurant business, but not a fast-growing tech business taking on the world”. Together with teams from PwC Private and PwC Australia more broadly, the group solved the structure and recruitment requirements simultaneously, building the strongest foundation to support Providoor’s future success. “In finding the right partner, having trust in the team and absolute attention to detail was essential”, says Shane. “Working with PwC has been outstanding, and they’ve been trusted advisors from the start”.
Joanne Murray, Partner, PwC Private, says, “the work with Providoor is a great example of how we work with smaller accounting firms to help solve complex problems as their clients scale”. As a community of solvers, working together in unexpected ways, we help build trust while delivering sustained outcomes for private businesses, and their advisors. With the diligence to solve through complexity with confidence, “human-led and tech-powered, these collaborations rely on the strength of relationships, especially in start-up environments”, says Joshua.
PwC’s Legal team have supported Shane and Providoor from its early days. The PwC Legal team is currently advising on the business restructure, ensuring operations have the right conditions for future investment from a legal perspective. “This structure ensures Providoor is investor ready and can facilitate future capital raising”, says Michael O'Neill, Partner, PwC Legal. Having a structure fit for external investment from professional investors is often overlooked in start-ups. By coming together to solve across both PwC’s Legal and PwC Private’s tax teams, a structure is now in place to best support the future growth of the platform.
For PwC Private, a ‘one team’ approach brings together the best of its business, to help clients bring in the right team and technology, to help private businesses thrive. Katrina Chan, Senior Consultant with PwC Private, says that working with private businesses that have a strong purpose and impact on society, delivers meaning and purpose in her own work. “Working with Providoor and seeing their success, motivates me to work even harder for them”, says Katrina. “That’s what The New Equation is all about”, adds Joanne. “Connecting all parts of the firm, and delivering success from the start”.
“PwC have really adapted to the venture”, says Tim. “They’re honest, straight-up, and hardworking advocates for Shane, and a true trusted advisor for us as we make key decisions supporting growth of the business”.
As restaurants reopen, Providoor has opened the floodgates on a new revenue stream for hospitality. “Now we get to show how relevant Providoor is to the everyday lives of Australians, and the world, delivering the prestige and presence of the nation’s best dining experiences, to the home”, says Tim. But it’s just the beginning. With local success comes global aspiration, and now with a world class team at the ready, to make that a reality, it might just be time to order the bubbles.
Partner, Private Clients, PwC Australia
Director, PwC Australia
Senior Consultant, PwC Australia