Oldham entrepeneurs hope they have recipe for success

Date published: 18 March 2021

A new take-away ordering service has opened in Oldham.

'Oldham Eats' is set to take on the international giants in the food delivery market, with an app featuring resturants exclusively from the town.

The local service was the brainchild of Richard Garth and Tom Calderbank who felt there was a local demand to be met.

Richard, 27, says the business has a local focus: "Being local to Oldham, we have seen the impact that COVID has had on the community.  Oldham has been affected more than most by COVID, it has suffered from harsher restrictions for a longer period of time.

"As we come out of the pandemic, we feel that there will be a long lasting pivot towards local.

"Our service keeps money within the local economy. When someone orders from a large national takeaway chain from the likes of Just Eat, none of that money stays within the local economy. With us, and our independent, often family owned businesses, 100% of the money stays within the area."

The entrepreneurs decided to join the delivery market after researching the industry and identifying an opportunity. The UK takeaway market is large, at around £10bn and continues to grow.

'Oldham Eats' is a franchise of 'Local Eats' which started in Barrow, and provides the software on which the service runs.  It's a partnership that Richard says works well.

"It means we can combine our local knowledge and ability to work with very local businesses, with a reliable back office system. Local Eats also offer advice on things like marketing, accounting and technology,"

Both Richard and Tom graduated from Lancaster University.  Tom works in the transport industry whilst Richard was made redundant from his job at TUI at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. There are mixed feelings about starting a business during Coronavirus restrictions.

"For us, the pandemic and lockdown has made it more difficult to go out and meet our takeaway partners. This industry is all about building relationships with local business owners, to find out what they are about and to work out how we can work together.

"On the plus side, the home delivery market has seen an uptick in trade, and with a pivot towards local, and an appealing proposition - we are optimistic about the future."

Oldham Eats has recruited 20 take-aways to the service so far, and hopes to bring more on board as the business grows.

Customers can try out the new service at https://www.oldham-eats.co.uk

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