Small Business

Bursting onto the healthy meal delivery scene: How this small business uses digital tools to continue improving its service

November 22, 2023

Simmer Eats was formed by university student Simmy Dhillon in his small accommodation kitchen. Now his entire family plays a role in keeping the business running.

Inspired to create healthy, pre-prepared meals that supported his health goals while still boasting big flavours, Simmy Dhillon began cooking meals from his university kitchen during the pandemic.  

Soon, his customer base began to grow, so he joined forces with his brother Jhai and mum Kal to support the growing demand for his food, and Simmer Eats was born. 

Family is at the heart of the business's success. 

“Without our family, we would have no business. Trust is so important in any small business, and we're fortunate that we have that in abundance whilst working with our family. It's also a lot more special succeeding with family — the milestones, awards and positive feedback always feel that much sweeter when you’re part of a family team.”
Simmy Dhillon

When starting out, the business faced various operational challenges, from building a commercial kitchen from scratch and bootstrapping the business, to dealing with kitchen floods and meal  couriers.  

Since forming, the business has gone from strength to strength. Simmer Eats has sold more than 1 million meals, reaching over £1 million in annual revenue and even being named in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list 2023.  

And there’s no slowing down for the Dhillon family, who have ambitions to take their business even further. They want to continue to build awareness, gain new customers and make connections, and work with partners who can share expert advice. 

Uptake of digital tools has never been an issue for this small business, with the team operating a fully digital payments system from day one. But this doesn’t mean they don’t want a helping hand.  

In a recent survey looking at Europe’s family-run small businesses, Mastercard found that family businesses have rapidly adapted to the digital-first world ushered in by the pandemic, with nearly half (47%) increasing their use of digital payments.  

The survey also found that many small businesses, especially those that are family-run, need additional support to thrive in a changing world. Family businesses were more likely to say they want more training and education (44%) and mentorship (31%) than those that are not family-run. 

“Small businesses like Simmer Eats fuel their communities and help power the European economy,” says Mark Barnett, President, Mastercard Europe. “We’re mobilising our solutions, resources and digital tools to help them keep pace with the shifting digital landscape and are committed to delivering on that promise.”