Ben's Fleetwood Eats enterprise is boosting local food outlets
A young businessman has joined the food app revolution - and he says food outlets and customers in Fleetwood will feel the benefit.
Ben Blackburn, 21, has become one of more than 100 franchise owners of the Local Eats phenomenon across the country and he's out to challenge the food app giants he believes are charging smaller local food businesses too much.
Based on the Just Eat model which has become an international success, Ben acts as a link-up between local eateries and the customer, allowing people to use a phone app to help them order meals from a wide choice of food outlets in their area.
Ben's Fleetwood Eats currently has more than 30 small takeaway operators, cafes and restaurants in Fleetwood, and to a smaller degree in Thornton, Cleveleys and Poulton, onboard with his operation so far.
He has been inspired by his friend Sam Benson, 26, who set up Blackpool Eats last year, and he says he charges around half the commission of Just Eat and other similar big operators, offerimg just 7.5 per cent.
Ben says: "The bigger food app companies like Just Eat charge too much commission and that is not helping the smaller local firms who use them and it's not helping places like Fleetwood.
"I'm aiming to help the restaurants and takeaways in the local community keep more of their hard earned profits whilst still maximising orders for delivery."
Ben is a Morecambe lad who is currently working part-time as an electrician, but he has a soft-spot for Fleetwood as he lived in the town while he was a young football hopeful.
He said: "I was at Blackburn Rovers when I was a teenager and I was loaned out to Fleetwood Town.
"Fleetwood has a place in my heart and I thought it would be the perfect place to start my business.
"Ideally I would like to be doing the Fleetwood Eats full time and give up the electrician side of things.
"Local takeaways in Fleetwood tell me they are pleased with what I'm doing - the idea is that I can make a living, the food businesses keep more of their profits and then they don't have to pass on the big commission to the customer."
Ben is even pledging to go further, saying: "We will also be giving half of our first weeks profits to charity and in the future we will be sponsoring local teams and charities."