When ezCater raised $100 million last month, the corporate catering company said it would use some of that money to expand internationally. True to its word, ezCater announced today that it is acquiring Paris-based GoCater to gain an immediate foothold in Europe. This is the first acquisition for ezCater and terms of the deal were not disclosed.
GoCater currently operates in both France and Germany, where, according to the press announcement, the company has “hundreds of catering partners” that serve “thousands of business customers.” GoCater was founded in 2016 by Giorgio Riccò and Stephen Leguillon, who spun it out of La Belle Assiette, a European platform for booking private chefs that operates in France, Belgium, Luxemobourg, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
EzCater Co-founder and CEO, Stefania Mallett told me in an interview that Riccò and Leguillon’s experience growing La Belle Assiette in Europe made GoCater an attractive acquisition target. Europe isn’t a monolith; each country has their own regulations and culture that need to be properly understood before a company can break into their markets. “With GoCater we are getting a team on the ground in Europe with experience operating in multiple countries,” Mallett said, “That is very powerful for us.”
The acquisition comes at a time when the corporate catering market is maturing and going through its own growing pains. This year has seen a lot of activity in the space with Square acquiring Zesty, EAT Club acquiring Farm Hill, and Peach laying off 33 percent of its staff. Other corporate catering services like Hungry, ZeroCater and Platterz have all received funding, but none nearly as much as ezCater.
EzCater claims to be the biggest corporate catering company in the U.S., and as noted, the company raised a whopping $100 million funding round last month. With a warchest brimming with cash, Mallett said it was “Time to grow like crazy and widen the gap.”
For now, GoCater will continue to operate as GoCater in Europe until trademark and other related issues are sorted out. European expansion is bound to be a topic of discussion with Michelle Smart, ezCater’s VP of Partner Operations, when she speaks at our Smart Kitchen Summit this October (get your tickets now!).