Never give up! It’s your main asset in a startup life!

Dalou: We want to reestablish the rule of «Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper»

Please introduce yourself and your Startup Dalou to our readers!
Hi! My name is Stan Jallot, I come from the most beautiful city on earth — Paris (obviously) — and I live in another beautiful city, which is Zürich.

Dalou is our food delivery startup. It’s a convenient platform for companies to order food at their office. We focus especially on breakfast which we believe is the most important meal of the day, and vital for a busy worker to start the day.
With Dalou, companies can get delivered fresh, artisanal and local products for their meetings, catering events, birthdays, etc.

How did you get the idea to Dalou?
It all started with a key statistic: More than 40 % of UK workers skip breakfast due to the lack of time. And it’s not always easy to find a quick but healthy breakfast on your way to work. Starting the day without a proper meal has a negative impact on your productivity at work as well as your motivational level.

We want to reestablish the rule of «Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper». It would be healthier for the busy workers we care about, and also a great way for companies to motivate their employees to come to work earlier.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
After our soft launch in London, we decided to move to Zürich to take part in the Kickstart Accelerator. The program had just been created, and the offer was too good to be refused: the support of amazing mentors, multinational companies, an environment that would give us the keys to succeed in Zürich. However, the reality of the Zürich market was very different to what we had expected, therefore we have had to adapt on an everyday basis. And that’s still the case today: You always need to adapt to what your customers want, changing your offer, changing your strategy in order to move accordingly with the market needs & demands.

A very concrete example is the product itself: In Zürich, the demand for breakfast is much lower than for lunch, whereas it’s arguably the opposite in London. Therefore we adapted to these circumstances by offering easy-to-eat breakfast products, as well as «Znüni» and sandwiches options.

Who is your target audience?
Only companies, ranging from 10 people to 1000+ employees. We have a minimum order value of 24 CHF, therefore we are not discriminating too many companies in Zürich.
We are the perfect solution for any type of company that is willing to dedicate part of their budget for the benefits of their employees. It can be a weekly team breakfast or a big catering event, we are able to provide a fresh solution for each of them.

What is the USP of your startup?
In order to guarantee the freshness of our products, we are working with the best suppliers in Zürich, such as bakeries John Baker, Seri and St Jakob Stiftung, juiceries like Berri AG and MONO, etc. And we are taking care of the logistics, which means picking up the products from the different suppliers, packing them and finally delivering it to our end customers.
This way, we guarantee our clients a wide range of top products available on our convenient platform, delivered on time by cargovelo.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I have no choice but to be a morning person! Wake up around 5 – 6 AM and take my cargo bike to pick up products from different partners. I then bring all the products to my kitchen space where I check the quality of the products and assemble the orders into the bags. Then I deliver it to my clients, also with the fleet of cargo bikes we have.

At around 8:30 AM, the deliveries are finished and the sales work begins. Everyday I order 20 croissants for each salesman and we define a parameter in the city where we will offer our croissants to the different offices. It’s a good way to acquire customers because you can build direct face-to-face relationships. After this, at around 11 AM, we take some time to follow up with the potential new customers, answer emails, etc.

After lunch, I place the orders to our partners (the bakeries, juiceries, etc.) and continue to follow up with customers in the afternoon, confirm orders, fill our social media channels with content, write articles, find new creative ways to improve our platform and attract more customers. My day finishes when I have completed all my tasks for the day and organized the next day. It’s usually between 7 PM and … let’s not count.

In case you noticed: I haven’t mentioned eating breakfast. But don’t worry, because I need to check the quality of the products everyday, I order samples of every product and eat them. That’s the biggest perk of the job!

Where do you see yourself and your startup Dalou in five years?
I want Dalou to be the main reference for all companies when it comes to ordering fresh food at the office. I would like to offer Dalou to as many people as possible, therefore expand to other cities in Switzerland and in Europe.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1) Never give up! It’s your main asset in a startup life. You will continuously be faced with challenges and bad news, but then suddenly good news will pop up and so on. You need to be ready for this rollercoaster. Really, in one word: perseverance.

2) Build an extraordinary team. You will spend a lot of time with your teammates – make sure your personalities match as it will save you a lot of time and energy.

3) Make sure you have strategic partners like mentors & business angels: If you are still quite young like me and don’t have plenty of experience, it’s always great to have more experienced people around you. A network of mentors, supporters, and investors at a seed stage (business angels). That’s really helpful.

picture source Cédric Bollag

More information you will find here

Thank you Stan Jallot for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer ist 39 Jahre jung, Gründerin und leitende Redakteurin der StartupValleyNews. Ihre Karriere startete sie in verschiedenen internationalen Direktvertriebsunternehmen. Seit 2007 ist sie hauptberuflich als Journalistin tätig. Während dieser Zeit lernte sie die Startup-Szene kennen und schätzen, was Sie dazu bewogen hat mit StartupValleyNews ein internationales Startup Magazin aufzubauen!

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