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What the Fork: Growing Fife tech firm takes a bite out of JustEat and Deliveroo by letting takeaways keep more cash

Debbie Coutts, Iain Bird, Lynsey Clark and Blair Jones, of What The Fork.
Debbie Coutts, Iain Bird, Lynsey Clark and Blair Jones, of What The Fork.

A growing Fife tech company is taking on major delivery firms with the aim of restaurants keeping more of the money they make.

Online food ordering platform What the Fork was established in 2018 by father-and-son David and Steven Coutts.

It charges restaurants and takeaways 10% commission for each order, capped at £3,500.

Restaurants and takeaways then keep whatever profits they make over the £3,500 threshold.

That is compared with between 14-25% offered by its international rivals JustEat and Deliveroo, with no cap.

An idea formed over a fish supper

Business development manager Blair Jones said: “The directors were sitting down to a fish supper from their local takeaway.

“When they had gone to pick it up, they spoke with the owner who was really between a rock and hard place using the high-commission apps like JustEat and Deliveroo.

What the Fork director Steven Coutts and his dad David came up with the idea.

“It was really affecting the chance to grow the business.

“They thought they could offer something that not only allowed businesses to grow, but also hands them back a bit of control as well.”

What the Fork caps commission so that anything an eatery takes over £3,500 a month through the app goes straight to its profits.

The firm said this was for its clients to “maximise their potential” and encourages growth.

A ‘stronghold’ in Fife

More than 100 food outlets have signed up since the business launched in 2018.

Each one gets its own customised app – which takes about three weeks for the team in Dalgety Bay to create.

It can then be used to process deliveries or table service.

Mr Jones added that the firm’s “stronghold” is in Fife and Edinburgh, but it is looking to develop in other areas.

Blair Jones, What the Fork business development manager.

He said: “We’re growing out west and places are starting to pop up in different areas but we’ve got that stronghold in Edinburgh and Fife.

“It is about championing local businesses and where better to start than on our doorstep.”

International expansion and jobs creation

The company, which employs around 20 staff, is also preparing to launch its service in Spain.

“That was a natural progression because one of our directors is well connected there,” Mr Jones said.

“That’s going to be launching in the next couple of months.

“Then we’ll be looking at getting our message out throughout the rest of the UK.

“People are waking up to the fact that there are other services outside the ‘big two’ and it’s starting to snowball a bit at the moment.

“It’s just about riding that wave and getting ourselves in front of as many people as possible.”

What the Fork is aiming to take on JustEat and Deliveroo.

With that growth will come more jobs, with vacancies currently being advertised, including software engineers.

Mr Jones said: “We’ve got a really good tight-knit team.

“We’re all pretty ambitious and the directors have lofty plans, so we’ll need more people to come in.”

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