AT THE BEGINNING OF IHIS YEAR, NIALL MIDDLETON PACKED IN his job as a social worker, and started a commercial venture in Edinburgh along with his business partner Bradley Stevens. The business became operational in August and, three months later, their company employs fifteen people, has a client base of over 1,200 and is looking to expand to Glasgow and beyond. At the age of 29, Middleton is his own boss, co- directing his own company and running on an infectious mix of enthusiasm and ambition.
In House Cuisine is essentially a meal delivery service — one of those jackpot ideas which make people slap their foreheads and wish they’d. thought of it themselves. Customers call In House and order food from a menu which lists dishes from fourteen different Edinburgh restaurants. Gratifyingly for The List, Middleton and Stevens chose the
Moving into the fast lane
to overtake restaurants they wanted on the basis of which were recommended in The List’s annual Eating And Drinking
Meals On Guide.
WhEEIS, I Having phoned in your order, one of In House Cuisine’s
smartly turned-out delivery people will arrive and unpack your piping hot meal within an hour. No need to venture outdoors, risk life and limb in the kitchen or change out of your raggedy-arsed but incredibly comfortable lounging rv- breeches — restaurant quality food comes to your door.
‘People use us for all sorts of reasons,’ explains Middleton. ’Some people call us for a special treat, to celebrate an anniversary. Other people phone us when they can’t be bothered to cook for themselves. Weekends are busy, but the
are ready to deﬁvertop
nosh to your doorstep. And . v
We . biggest peak times are when it's d '"g C -, . N rainy, cold, windy and there’s No nee to m, _ And Cm: football on the telly.’ t ‘Dm'ng Middleton and Stevens got the Ven ure
idea from America, where the outdoors, I’iSk service sector is king and every and
major city has its own specialised
food home delivery company. in the Given the emphasis they place on or change out
service, it's little surprise that In f House have taken to heart the 0 Your
dictum about the customer always raggedy-arsed being right. If it's legal and it's I - s feasible, then they’ll do it, and oung'ng their delivery people will happily breeChes - pick up anything you require to make your evening go with a reStaurant
bang. quality food
‘ Disappointingly, the most bizarre request they've had to date has been for an odd but hardly door-
mstartling toothpaste and Ribena
combo to be picked up along with a meal. Lurid tales of _ requests for vaguely suggestive household objects and lumps T of coal for ravenous expectant mothers have, unfortunately, yet to make an appearance. .
'We deliver the type of food which you can't get
delivered,’ enthuses~Middleton. ’Everyone knows you can order a Chinese meal or an Indian and, within half an hour,
Guide played . its part in " selecting the menu.
WOrds: Jonathan Trew
Photograph: Steve Reid
- some bloke is going to turn up, hand you a greasy poly bag u. and go away again. As well as Indian and Chinese, we provide 4,?" Scottish, French, Italian, Mexican, chargrill dishes, even, Mongolian food. It all comes from good restaurants and it’s 'j‘é.‘ delivered with some style.’ ' In House Cuisine isn't Middleton's first brush with the
' I ' eeling and dealing of the business world. Last summer he
‘aded over to Asia, bought up a stack of Tanka artefacts
f ,. made by Tibetan monks, and sold them to shops and street
’ stalls during the Festival. Before that, he ran a club called
-, Boom Town in Edinburgh’s Wilkie House at the beginning of I,” the 905.
’5“ 4, As In House Cuisine looks to expand into the corporate
lunchtime trade, the provision of a breakfast service and a
*«p‘ossible extension across the M8, it looks as though
"Middleton and his partner have created another little Boom " Town.
Phone In House Cuisine on 0131 467 2345.