New platform helps local restaurants fight back

Non-profit website acts as a restaurant directory that allows customers to order from local businesses as Irish operators lose margins to aggregators

Non-profit website acts as a restaurant directory that allows customers to order from local businesses as Irish operators lose margins to aggregators

The brainchild of Flipdish, one of Ireland’s newest tech unicorns, has been created to help consumers to discover local food businesses in their area and order directly.

“I would encourage people to support their local food businesses” is open to all restaurants and takeaways free of charge regardless if they’re a Flipdish customer or not.

This will act as an alternative to food marketplaces, which continue to charge high fees to those in the hospitality sector during these challenging times.

Food for thought

“We’re delighted to be launching this campaign today and I would encourage people to support their local food businesses,” said Flipdish CEO and co-founder Conor McCarthy.

“The hospitality industry in Ireland has been badly affected by the Covid pandemic since March 2020 and at Flipdish, we want to help support it whenever and wherever possible. We’re proud to work with businesses across the country in making sure they are directly connected to customers.”

Flipdish recently gained unicorn status after raising $100m in a round led by Tencent and gaining a valuation of $1.25bn. The company also announced 700 new jobs in January.

Founded by brothers Conor and James McCarthy in 2015, Flipdish allows hospitality businesses to deliver seamless consumer digital experiences which drive business growth. The unicorn provides technology that powers QR code order and pay at table, online ordering for collection & delivery, self-service kiosks, customer loyalty, and digital marketing.

Phone to fork

The announcement comes on the back of independent analysis by foodservice sector expert Peter Backman which estimates that Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats, have taken in an estimated €1bn in revenue in 2021 and an estimated €1.2bn since the pandemic began.

Furthermore, since March 2020, aggregators have amassed a total of €270m in commissions in Ireland alone. 

“The problem with aggregators is that we have no control over the delivery experience,” said Nathan Bennet, owner of The Lab restaurant in Dublin.

“Since working with Flipdish, we’ve realised that we can still control the whole customer journey from start to finish without that fear that they’re going to get a bad experience from an aggregator. With the aggregators, it always feels like you’re working for them rather than working for yourself. Partnering with Flipdish, it’s just a no-brainer financially.”

Ireland is not alone when it comes to the large amounts of money accumulated by aggregators over the course of the pandemic.

Since March 2020, aggregators have taken in an estimated £2.5bn in commission in the UK, €1.1bn commission in France and €1bn commission in Spain.

McCarthy says Flipdish’s mission is to help its customers thrive as we emerge from the pandemic and for that reason, this campaign stretches far beyond Ireland.

“This is why we are backing We want to ensure that customers are aware of all the local food businesses in their area that they can order from. We believe this free platform will help those businesses who want to steer away from the high fees attached to listing their businesses on aggregator websites and connect directly with customers.” is available in all markets where Flipdish operates. Flipdish is encouraging customers across Europe to support their local food businesses by ordering directly from their websites when possible. 

Main image: James and Conor McCarthy, co-founders, Flipdish

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.