April 29, 2021 at 11:47PM

London-based food delivery service Taster has announced that it has received a $37 million cash infusion from several outside investors, CNBC reported.

Investors included Octopus Ventures, LocalGlobe, Battery Ventures and Heartcore Capital, according to CNBC.

What makes Taster unusual is that the platform connects its restaurants to kitchens from other eateries that aren’t currently doing much business. It plans to use the money to expand across the U.K., France and Spain, CNBC reported.

Taster operates five delivery-only brands. The company claimed it delivered 1 million meals last year, according to CNBC. Consumers can get the food from Taster as well as from other food delivery apps.

“The food category in general is barely online,” Taster Founder Anton Soulier told CNBC. “It’s like about 10 percent. When you look at other industries, such as travel, it’s like 60 percent.”

Off-premise restaurant operations have grown in use cases, especially amid the pandemic, as brands have sought to attract customers who love their food but not the crowds.

For example, PYMNTS reported that quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain Noodle & Company expanded its off-premise offerings in 2020, and in the fourth quarter of last year, despite suffering a year-over-year revenue decrease, digital sales grew 128 percent, making up 62 percent of total sales, according to the company’s earnings release.

And brick-and-mortar seafood chain Red Lobster opened its first ghost kitchen, located in Chicago, in November, PYMNTS reported. The chain hopes the digital format will boost sales in other cities as well.

“Off premise [dining] is a huge priority for Red Lobster,” said CEO Kim Lopdrup. “We tripled our off-premise sales in the two years before COVID-19 began, and we’ve tripled them again over the last eight months. Opening a ghost kitchen is a natural next step in expanding our off-premise business.”

Taster Raises $37 Million To Expand Delivery-Only Restaurant Brands …

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