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Providoor is back, and the new owner is asking gift card holders with $4,04 million to come forward


High-end meal delivery service, Providoor, is back from the dead with a new owner and slightly different business model. It has also addressed the $4.4 million worth of outstanding gift cards with SmartCompany.

The Providoor brand has been acquired by Sam Benjamin – founder and managing director of Seventh Street Ventures. Benjamin is also behind Brag Media, Rolling Stone Australia and gourmet food test-platform, Kaspa.

Benjamin reportedly acquired the brand — including its social media accounts, domains and customer database — on April 2023. Providoor was then handed to liquidators by May 1 after three years of operation.

Providoor was launched in Melbourne by chef Shane Delia in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its aim was to help restaurants continue to earn revenue during lockdowns. Customers were able to order meals from restaurants that they would then finish at home.

The service ended up branching out into Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and some Northern NSW locations.

In February 2022, Providoor said it had brought in over $74 million in revenue for its restaurant partners since launching. But by 2023 the landscape had significantly changed. When the liquidation was announced,  Delia pointed to challenging economic conditions.

Providoor certainly wasn’t the first in the industry to close up shop. The likes of Deliveroo, CoLab, Voly and Milkrun had all shut down in the months prior.

But interestingly, most were rescued. CoLab was picked up by eFoodz and Voly was transformed into an online farmer’s market thanks to Our Cow. But the biggest and arguably most successful version of this was Woolworths rebranding Metro60 as Milkrun after it bought the brand.

The new Providoor

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Under Benjamin’s stewardship, Providoor will now deliver ready-to-eat (Providoor Local) and frozen meals (Providoor Frozen) via Uber Eats. The meals will be curated by celebrity chefs such as Anna Polyviou, Luke Nguyen, Manu Feildel and Justin Narayan. Three former Master Chef judges – George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan are also involved.

According to Providoor, all meals will be pre-prepared in kitchens located across Sydney — Homebush, Five Dock, Neutral Bay and Moore Park. There are plans to open more kitchens in Sydney, as well as Brisbane and Melbourne in the future.

At the time of writing the pricing for meals was unclear. However, the relaunch will take place at 5pm AEDT Monday, so we’ll know soon enough.

“We have developed processes that allow us to prepare, store and finish restaurant quality food in a way that has never been done before. It’s an absolute game-changer to have this many chefs and personalised menus under one banner. It is revolutionary in stepping up the quality of food available to Australians for delivery fresh to their home,” Benjamin said.

“Over the last three years we have invested time and resources travelling the world researching, testing, tasting, sourcing, preparing and then re-testing and delivering high quality food with high quality speed and service through test-platform, Kaspa. We have assembled a highly experienced team from all over the world – operations and culinary – all committed to the bold aspirations of the business with an innovative chapter to drive the full Providoor purpose and potential.”

What about the Providoor gift card holders?

While there may still be a chance of a bright future for Providoor, former customers have still been left in the lurch.

It was revealed in mid-May that the company had debts up to $6.3 million, including almost $4.4 million in unredeemed gift cards that customers were unable to receive refunds for.

“Providoor is unfortunately unable to honour any gift cards or complete any unfulfilled orders, including Mother’s Day hampers and gifts,” an email from Providoor’s liquidators, RSM Australia Partners, said on May 2.

“Unfortunately, Providoor has insufficient funds to provide any refunds to any gift card holders or customers who have unfulfilled orders.”

This line of messaging has remained the same in the following months. The most recent report and email from RSM, dated September 20, stated that at this stage of the liquidation there are still insufficient funds to to pay a dividend “to any class of creditor or provide and refunds to any gift card holders or customers who have unfulfilled orders.”

“If a dividend is going to be paid, you will be contacted before that happens,” an email seen by SmartCompany said.

While Sam Benjamin did take over the Providoor brand, that doesn’t include any of its liabilities. This means that the new business is not responsible for what is owed to any creditors, including gift card holders.

However, Providoor has confirmed with SmartCompany that it will address the gift cards with former customers.

“Sadly, we know the original Providoor collapsed and went into liquidation in April this year. The previous business leaves debts and vouchers owing to many which we are aware of and are ready to make right as best we can. We do feel for our foodie family, so if you have outstanding vouchers, please contact us as soon as you can at [email protected], and we will work through replies as soon as we can,” Providoor said in an email to SmartCompany. This message will go out on Providoor’s website and social media accounts later today.

“We will be replying to all directly in the next seven to 10 business days to discuss your gift card with you. Please make sure you have provided a copy; photo or image of the voucher and voucher number in this email to better help us serve you.”

It’s currently unclear exactly how the new Providoor plans to rectify the situation with former customers or what will be offered. SmartCompany asked repeatedly if Providoor plans to honour the gift cards in full and the above statement was sent in response.

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