Liverpool-made sandwich app grabs a big slice of UK market

Ashley Wright has developed LunchAlert which alerts staff in workplaces when their favourite sandwich van is about to arrive and is available on Android and Apple.

LunchAlert founder Ashley Wright, right, with Joanna Williams, director at Warrington sandwich delivery firm Lunch Co where the app was first tested

Liverpool digital entrepreneur Ashley Wright has succeeded in getting his sandwich van alert app into almost 400 business parks across the UK.

His LunchAlert app, available on Android and Apple, alerts staff when their favourite sandwich van is about to arrive.

Designed in Liverpool, with support from Santander’s SME Incubator where LunchAlert is based in St Paul’s Square, the app also helps delivery companies to maximise profits with more regular sales, which in turn cuts surplus food waste.

Now the app has scooped a top innovation award, after impressing judges at the British Sandwich Industry Awards, known as the Sammies, scooping Best New Product for packaging or equipment, 2017.

In its first year of business, LunchAlert has so far been adopted by delivery companies operating 100 vans serving almost 400 business parks, and catering for over 2470 customers.

It’s being used in 15 counties including Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, Lincolnshire, Teesside, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, and Kent.

The app was tested by Warrington sandwich delivery firm LunchCo, before going to market.

Among those who’ve so far introduced the app is one of the largest independent bakery chains in the North East, Cooplands of Scarborough.

As well as alerting workers that their van is arriving, it tells people what’s on the menu that day, and gives details of any special offers – again helping maximise sales for vendors, while promoting the best deals to their customers.

From left, LunchAlert founder Ashley Wright with his co-founders, Mike Carter and Andrew Ballard

LunchAlert is now looking to sign up yet more food delivery companies, as the app’s customer base continues to grow in size.

Ashley, originally from Yorkshire, runs LunchAlert jointly with developers Mike Carter of Runcorn and Andrew Ballard of Irlam in Manchester.

“LunchAlert came about as a practical solution to a problem I encountered when I was working at a business park developing different apps,” said Ashley.

“I noticed that several sandwich vans visited each day and would beep their horns when they arrived to get attention. Often no-one would go out and the van would leave not having made a sale.

“We did some research and nearly 50% of people said they didn’t know when their local sandwich vendor was arriving, or had missed them because they were not aware they had arrived.

LunchAlert was developed with support from Santander’s SME Incubator, including mentoring, the use of city centre offices in St Paul’s Square, Liverpool, and access to a wide network of business contacts and advice through its Breakthrough programme.

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