Frigo Loco, the start-up that brings local and healthy food to businesses.

Written with input from Frigo Loco

The Belgian start-up Frigo Loco is successfully continuing its development in the sustainable food sector. In addition to the connected refrigerators, it now also offers a full catering service and a zero-waste formula in collaboration with local food players.

Forget old-fashioned canteens and freeze-dried soup from the coffee machine. The start-up Frigo Loco reinvents corporate catering: it offers a full range of fresh meals and sustainable snacks to businesses that care about the well-being of their employees.

“We bring more value to companies, with a unique, modular and local catering offer ”, explains Dimitri van Meerbeeck and Mathieu Verhaeghe, the two founders of Frigo Loco and winners of BE Circular 2020. The first has made careers at Exki, Tartes de Françoise, Neuhaus and Le Pain Quotidien. The other worked for the World Bank before launching Full of Good, labeled with cold-pressed juices.

Their start-up in Brussels renews the canteen concept thanks to intelligent refrigerators since 2020. The principle? Employees can go for it fresh, healthy and tasty dishes and snacks† All they have to do is open the fridge with their bank card or their smartphone and choose what they want to eat. The menu is available 24 hours a day! The icing on the cake: With the Frigo Loco app, you can find out the ingredients and nutritional value of each dish.

New: a zero-waste module

In addition to its intelligent refrigerators are sustainable neo-canteen developed new modules: a nut bar, coffee and / or water fountain furniture, a version with microwave ovens and a “zero-waste” formula, the first in Belgium. The meals are delivered in glass packaging, which can be returned and washed by Frigo Loco after use. Unsold food is reallocated to local solidarity refrigerators.

The FoodTech company is, too the collaboration with several chefs and local food actors: the organic and vegetarian restaurants Le Botaniste (Ghent and Brussels), the artisanal and local coffee roastery Torrefactory (Walloon Brabant), the healthy catering companies BoxBunny (Brussels) and Djar (Ghent). They all prefer healthy, local and seasonal ingredients from sustainable agriculture.

The Frigo Loco team comes every day to store the refrigerators and takes the opportunity to refill coffee or nuts, pick up the dirty service, … Thanks to this resource optimization they can rationalize their trips – starting in September with the cargo bike the last kilometer – but also effectively prospecting.

“These partnerships make it possible for us unite forces and networks, so that as many companies as possible can discover our respective products, ”the two entrepreneurs explain. For example, for restaurant The Botanist, this is an excellent way to publicize its sustainable food project beyond its walls. And at the same time, it is improving its reputation among its core target audience.

Development in Flanders

Frigo Loco is already an established name in Brussels and is now also targeting other Belgian cities. Soon the company will come to Ghent, in collaboration with the catering company Djar. “The ambition is to 150 new refrigerators need to be installed in companies, schools, hospitals and residential buildings and to be present in 4 cities within 2 yearssaid the entrepreneurial duo. “Frigo Loco is therefore looking for new partnerships with chefs and food companies in the cities of Liège, Antwerp and Luxembourg.”

Reinvent the employee experience

The concept of a sustainable neo-canteen has already attracted more companies, in various sectors such as consulting, the pharmaceutical industry and leisure activities. “Some of them are in a zone where you have to drive 20 minutes for each sandwich. Others are in a transition phase in their development and do not (yet) have a canteen that can accommodate their employees ”.

Frigo Loco’s approach makes it possible to operating costs to review† The connected refrigerators are available on a subscription basis and are up to 75% cheaper than traditional corporate catering, which is now underutilized due to the generalization of teleworking.

The benefits are innumerable: space optimization, no permanent staff or investment in kitchen equipment, time savings and employee satisfaction, total flexibility in schedules, easy installation, all-in service, local and ecologically responsible products …

In the post-Covid era, this solution also responds to the new challenges facing companies: Employees have become accustomed to teleworking and no longer want to come to the office every day. When they do, it is primarily to enjoy a pleasant experience and to meet their colleagues.

“Our new generation of catering services saves them time to pick up lunch. It allows them to exchange ideas in a cozy atmosphere at any time of the day. ” At Frigo Loco, team spirit and group cohesion are prioritized, two factors of motivation and well-being that are difficult to maintain in a conference call …

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