Founder Focus: Anton Soulier of Taster
Founded by Anton Soulier, one of Deliveroo’s early executives, Taster provides restaurant-quality meals for home delivery across Europe in London, Brighton, Paris and Madrid. Working with world-class chef consultants, including 2 Michelin starred Chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre, they embrace flavours from around the world and deliver to your door. Taster creates and runs unique food brands, each filled with flavour and personality. We caught up with Anton to find out just what makes Taster tick.
What was your eureka moment?
I joined Deliveroo pretty early on, so got to see the start of the on-demand food delivery revolution first-hand. While there, I was involved in launching some of the very first Deliveroo Editions ‘virtual’ kitchens. With low bricks-and-mortar costs, a wide delivery area and the ability to grow quickly wherever there’s demand – the potential was pretty clear.
I realised that if I could make really tasty food that’s designed for delivery – and build cool, strong brands around that food – then I’d be onto something really exciting.
What is your elevator pitch?
Taster is a collection of delivery-only food brands. Our kitchens don’t have restaurants attached, which means our chefs can focus on what really matters – delicious food, delivered fast. Right now we’re available in London, Brighton, Paris and Madrid – just search ‘Taster’ on Deliveroo or Uber Eats to see what’s in your area.
How did you test your idea?
Deliveroo did it for me! Deliveroo Editions showed me the world’s first virtual kitchens, so after that I was ready to take the jump. The team and I have a great network of food tastemakers who put us in touch with chefs they think are fantastic, like Tim Anderson (Stacksando’s creator) and John Chantarasak (Take-Out-Thai’s creator). Then we team up with these chefs to develop delicious recipes that work amazingly for delivery.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business on their own?
Do it! But expect things to go wrong – in the beginning, at least. Fear of failure stops loads of cool business ideas becoming anything more than a conversation with friends. No one, ever, has had a perfect journey to success without challenges, but you have to actually start something to find out if you can overcome them! Failure’s good, especially when you’re young. Learn from it and keep getting better.
What’s your plan B?
Actually, this is my plan B! I’d previously started an organic fruit desserts brand… It didn’t quite work out, but it showed me what I needed to get right next time.
What one failure are you glad you experienced?
See my answer to plan B question!
What is coming up for Taster?
The next couple of years are going to be crazy. We’re developing the Taster brand in some cool ways I can’t talk about right now, we’ll be opening up in a number of exciting new locations, and we’re doubling down on the food itself, making sure it’s consistently the best, even as we grow.
Longer-term, I think what could be a game-changer for Taster is the potential for more chef collaborations. For a talented chef, the risk and investment needed to expand to a first, or a second bricks-and-mortar restaurant is huge. But by partnering with us, they can get their food in front of literally hundreds of thousands of people – and with no risk, whatsoever.
What book would you recommend that everyone reads and why?
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight. Everyone loves someone inspirational telling their own story, but few have as many ups and downs (or as much wild energy) as the story of Nike’s founder Phil Knight.
How do you find balance in your daily life?
I love surfing. I spend most of my time in London or Paris with work these days, but have a little place by the sea in Portugal that’s perfect for recharging and getting a little sanity back when needed.