New Zealand’s first-ever ‘hole-in-the-wall’ food ordering service has arrived, with an official launch held in Ōtautahi, Christchurch.
Tiny Door opened in Christchurch’s Guthrey Centre laneways, near Riverside Market on September 2.
With time slots dedicated to breakfast, lunch and dinner, Tiny Door works by having different food producers and restaurants serve from the centralised kitchen on a rostered basis.
“It’s like a revolving door with the best foodies around town serving up the goodness. The menu changes every few hours, so there’s a bit of mystery to it which makes it fun,” co-founder Ally Kulpe says.
Ordering is easy – you can do it online or by scanning a QR code on-site. Food is then delivered to hungry patrons through a tiny blue door on the wall. Behind it, a small but functional state-of-the-art kitchen.
Kulpe says the experience could be likened to ordering from a vending machine, but with chefs on the inside serving up restaurant-quality food sourced from some of Christchurch’s finest eateries.
“The idea is that you don’t need to know the best places to eat – you just need to know the location of one tiny door,” Kulpe says.
Popular restaurants Mr Wolf, Miro and Bar Yoku are among the food partners to come on board, as well as the team behind Smokey T’s, who will be introducing their new brand, Ando’s, which specialises in slow-cooked, smoked meat sandwiches with a Kiwiana twist.
The idea is a new approach to help food businesses combat a “turbulent, often fickle industry”, says Kulpe.
“It’s a great way for foodies who are growing their business to scale up. Through Tiny Door, they can trial new concepts and ideas without having to worry about the costs that come with it.”
New start-up Good Morning Bakery, which specialises in gourmet bagels, is among those set to benefit.
Co-founders Bec Newble and Hannah Campbell, who are also flatmates, say they’ve always dreamed of owning their own business and with Tiny Door they’ve been able to turn that vision into reality.
“Bagels have always been a bonding meal in our flat. We started making them in lockdown, and we got quite good at experimenting with different flavours and coming up with our own recipes,” Campbell says.
It wasn’t long before the pair were inundated with bagel orders from friends and family.
“At that point we thought, maybe we’ve got something good here. The idea of going out on our own was appealing, but setting up a food business comes at a high cost and it can be quite unpredictable.
“With Tiny Door we get that leg up. It means we can get our bagels in front of customers without having to worry about huge overheads or long lease agreements,” Newble says.
The service works using a hub and spoke model. Food prep takes place off-site, before being taken to Tiny Door where specialised heat and eat equipment is used to finish the food, ready to be served at lightning speed.
More Tiny Door sites are expected to pop up around Christchurch in the coming year.