Sessions Market launches start-up accelerator

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Sessions Market launches start-up accelerator former Deliveroo MD Dan Warne

Related tags: Shelter Hall, Sessions Market

Food hall business Sessions Market has launched a new accelerator platform aimed at reinvigorating the hospitality sector in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.

The scheme is designed to take early-stage food concepts, and pair them with the high quality operators, to drive sales through unlocking a new or improved food delivery service.

The platform gives start-up or street food brands the chance to quickly scale up, while also offering operator hosts a new revenue stream in a profitable area.

Sessions Accelerator launches with a roster of popular brands, including Halo Burger, Lost Boy’s Chicken, Fanny’s Kebabs and Pleesecakes on board to provide gastro pubs and premium hotels in London with a delivery offering, including ETM Group.

Sessions received a fresh round of investment from tech venture capital fund Kuvi Capital and existing investors Oasthouse Ventures.

It is founded by former managing director of Deliveroo, Dan Warne, who spearheaded the UK business during his five years with the delivery company.

Earlier this year Warne launched Sessions Market, the food hall arm of the company, with its first site Shelter Hall opening in Brighton in July 2020.

Similarly to the food halls, Sessions Accelerator aims to work with “real brands from real founders”.

Warne said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the hospitality sector - but I’ve no doubt the industry will be able to combat the challenges of the last few months and come back stronger than ever.

“One of the biggest characteristics of this year has been the rise of food delivery, and this has shifted the playing field for smaller, independent brands. Most notably we’ve seen the creation of thousands of ‘virtual brands’ which consumers might order once from, but invariably don’t stand the test of time.

“Even as restrictions on physical restaurants ease, food delivery is going to continue to lead the way in the industry’s recovery and we believe that as we come out of this tough period, the brands that will prevail, both in the physical and virtual world, are those who have a story to tell the customer that reveals their passion and integrity, showing provenance of their product and innovation in their approach.

“We’re looking to provide the best platform for these brands to grow. Fortunately, we have an amazing food hall incubator to help us source great founders and concepts. Delivery will be integral to any business moving forward, but the same craft and attention applied to physical concepts, needs to be used for delivery, particularly as it becomes an ever-important part of our lives.”

Ed Martin, co-chief executive of ETM Group, added: “We are delighted to be working with Dan and the Sessions team to deliver these great brands throughout central London. It has been very exciting for us here at ETM to build a new dynamic business model through lockdown.”

Session’s intention is to narrow its focus on a single leading operator in each location around the UK for each of its brands, ensuring it can be discerning in maintaining the quality of the product and the integrity of the brand.

Meanwhile, the Sessions incubator at Shelter Hall in Brighton will be relaunched in March next year, housing multiple early stage operators alongside a development kitchen for founders with brand new concepts. Sessions is seeking top chefs to join the programme, which will extend into London in early 2021.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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