Rocket Food

Rocket Food

Between 2020 and 2021, the London Business Hub administered ERDF grants of up to £5,000 to businesses to support them through the pandemic. The funding could be spent on consultancy support or equipment. Find out how our grants helped Rocket Food Limited.

Tell us about your business?

We are a luxury catering and events business based in London, who have pivoted during the pandemic due to enforced closure and set up a new home delivery business: A Cook’s Tour with Rocket (www.acookstour.co.uk) where we deliver exceptional ingredients to people’s homes nationwide which they use to cook along with a celebrity chef, creating restaurant-quality meals in their own home.

How did the pandemic effect your business?

We identified the benefits of a membership/subscription-based model, and the importance of recurring revenue to the viability of our model, due to requirement to keep our customer acquisition cost/marketing expenditure as low as possible. We found that using standard off the shelf e-commerce platforms did not provide the agility and flexibility required to present our model to the consumer in a straightforward format.

What support did you receive?

The grant has allowed us to engage a website developer to build a fully customisable and bespoke website which has facilitated a membership model for our customers. Rather than joining every cook along automatically, or having to purchase each cook along individually, members can opt-in (or out) to individual cook-along in a dedicated member portal.

What would have happened if support was not available?

At the time of writing, 55% of our customers are automatically opted in and therefore, there are no additional marketing costs required to acquire those customers – essentially, we commence each cook along with a sales base of 55% of the previous cook along. The investment of the grant has already had the desired effect, with demonstrable increases in turnover and decreases in marketing expenditure as a result.

Given that we are a hospitality business which has seen 90% of our business wiped out due to the pandemic, with little to no government support (we are not classed as a hospitality business due to the arbitrary eligibility criteria set by the government meaning our premises must be exclusively open to the public in order to qualify).

The pivot project continues to grow as a result, and we are now hiring our first full-time position which is exclusively dedicated to the project.

Had we not had the support of the ERDF, we would not have been in a financial position to make the required investment in our website. It came at a crucial time in the lifecycle of our product. We would have had to sell each cook along individually to each customer every two weeks, which would have involved unsustainable requirements for both resources and marketing expenditure. This would have made our financial model unviable and likely contributed to the demise of the company.

The support provided by the ERDF has been a catalyst for unlocking our business’ potential. It has fast-tracked our growth plans and safeguarded several jobs. The impact of the support has been both tangible and immediate and has provided an opportunity for our hospitality business, and our people, to flourish once more.
Rocket Food

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