Only fans for food bloggers – these consultants are building a portal for online chefs
Cooking has experienced a boom since Corona. Cooks and food bloggers are supposed to sell their recipes and videos to fans via the portal The Plate. At the beginning, the start-up wants to rely more on experts for niche topics.
A third of Germans discovered cooking for themselves during the corona pandemic. The same goes for the two management consultants Isabell Weiser and Nadine Erk. They have started to follow chefs on Instagram, cooked up their recipes and discovered a weak point: bloggers have little opportunity to monetize their work.
“Many have already thought about building their own paywalls,” Weiser said in an interview with “Gründerszene”. The founders learned that food influencers often don’t feel like receiving sponsored contributions. This is how the consultants came up with the idea for their own portal.
At the beginning of the year, Weiser and Erk quit their well-paid jobs at Bain and McKinsey, respectively, and in April the duo founded The Plate. The Berlin platform is still under construction.
The goal, however, is a kind of paid social network, similar to that offered by Onlyfans for the erotic industry and Patreon for artists. Cooks and food bloggers should be able to create a profile at The Plate in order to offer recipes and video instructions, tips for food photography or table decorations.
The Plate is looking for chefs for niche topics
According to Erk, the start-up is initially looking for people who are experts in niche topics such as sourdough or pasta and who have a large fan base. The founders hope that the followers will be willing to pay for exclusive content from the influencers. “People get inspiration on Instagram, we cook.”
Users pay a monthly fee for each profile they follow. According to Erk, this is between two and ten euros. How much the food bloggers charge for the subscription and the services, they can determine themselves. They keep the amount themselves, but pay a commission of no more than 15 percent to the platform operator.
The pioneers Patreon and Onlyfans, who charge between ten and 20 percent, also finance themselves in a similar way. In the long term, Weise and Erk also want to think about an e-commerce model with merchandise and specially made kitchen utensils. This is how the Düsseldorf start-up Springlane has become successful, which, according to its own statements, has a turnover in the mid double-digit million range.
The start for The Plate is planned for the end of November, according to the founders. So far, the 18-person start-up has financed itself with around one million euros in venture capital. In September, for example, the Gorillas investor Atlantic Food Labs and the Californian fund Village Global, which advertises with mentors such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, took part.
The Copenhagen start-up Demi received a similar sum in early 2021, which also connects food bloggers with users. Founder Ian Moore was deputy editor-in-chief of Vice Denmark, then worked as creative director and built Demi a year ago. The makers of the well-known Danish distillery Empirical cavort there, talking shop about cocktails, microbes and research trips.