A journey to revolutionising healthy school lunches
An in-depth conversation with the inspiring entrepreneur behind the award-winning HealthTech startup LunchFox.
After winning the coveted ‘I Wish I’d Done That’ award at Pause Awards 2022, Louise Fisher, founder of the HealthTech startup LunchFox, shares her story, insights, and advice for others in the industry. Born from a passion for supporting busy families and local communities, LunchFox is an innovative app that allows parents to order healthy school lunches from local cafes, while providing a new revenue stream for cafe owners.
Louise’s journey began as a teacher, but her entrepreneurial spirit led her to transition into the business world. She identifies her key strengths as relationship building and having a clear vision for her business. It’s evident that Louise’s dedication to her customers, and her ability to listen closely to their needs, has played a significant role in her success. Creating and growing LunchFox has been her biggest achievement to date, Louise has said.
We sat down with Louise Fisher, to discuss her journey, business strategies, and advice for entrepreneurs.
Tell us how you grew your business?
We spent a lot of time figuring out who we were targeting and what their pain points were. For us, as a healthy school lunch service, we knew that busy parents would be our primary focus. Knowing that this demographic are generally avid social media users, we quickly realised that targeted Facebook/ Insta adverts would be our best friend!
We worked with our graphic designer and came up with a series of posts that a) caught the attention of our target demographic and then b) looked to acknowledge and answer their pain points. This strategy helped us to launch our MVP and conduct a pilot, at which point we changed tactics a little. We were now able to use real data, testimonials and word of mouth to help us grow.
We knew that the people who wanted our service the most, could help us get in front of the people who could potentially block our service the most! For us, this was an important realisation.Louise Fisher, Founder at LunchFox
We spent time working with marketing experts who gave me lots of great advice. Something that worked for us, was using the schools and cafes we already had on board as a “base camp” almost, using them to plant seeds to other local parents, schools and cafes. A lot of our cafes had a number of different locations, so they took the service to new areas, we ran incentives for existing customers to refer us to another local school to win free lunch orders etc. Putting those feelers out and working closely with other people who would benefit from us growing is proving to be a great strategy.
We also looked at who our ‘blockers’ were. For us, schools are notoriously difficult people to market to. We knew that our ability to grow could be hampered by schools not listening to our pitch, but what we also knew was that parents have a very loud voice when it comes to their school community. We knew that the people who wanted our service the most, could help us get in front of the people who could potentially block our service the most! For us, this was an important realisation.
What does success look like for you?
At the heart of our business is a desire to see children eating healthy food that is conducive to good learning. We want parents to have a convenient food service to turn to that doesn’t sacrifice on the health content and we want local businesses to feel the full impact of a brand new revenue stream.
For us, success is quite simply seeing the orders rolling in! We monitor the data and enjoy seeing families placing orders that are full of fruits, veggies and good, homemade food from local cafes. Furthermore, something we always want to promote is our ability to provide a totally customisable lunch order. We know that no two children are the same and so we want to avoid set menus wherever possible.
Personally, seeing the same parent placing two entirely different orders for her two children is absolute success! They are able to cater to their children’s individual tastes and needs: We love that. Similarly, whenever we see someone place an order for just a sandwich I can’t help but smile and think, “yep, you ran out of bread yesterday and our app meant you didn’t need to rush to Woolies at 7am this morning!”
Any exciting plans coming up in 2023?
2023 is our year to scale and grow! We are about to launch in our third state and have a number of new schools lining up to get on board. The dev team have just finished work on version two of the app, which we are aiming to launch in Term Two. This will be a really exciting time for us. We are a creative and innovative bunch, so we spent a lot of time refining our lunchbox builders and overall functionality to make LunchFox as intuitive as possible. We have also started putting feelers out overseas. We receive quite a lot of interest from the UK and New Zealand, so it would be great to start looking at international expansion as well.
What’s the single most important skill in business and why?
I would say being adaptable is pretty vital! As the Founder of this company, I find myself having to adapt to new situations all the time. It goes beyond just having a growth mindset: we need to constantly adapt to new trends (think how different marketing is now compared to two years ago), new technologies (we’ve all seen what ChatGPT can do!), new people (everything from new clients to networking events).
Being able to appropriately adapt to different situations and challenges is definitely an important skill in business.Louise Fisher, Founder at LunchFox
I know from personal experience that the most successful meetings and pitches I give are often a reflection on how well I adapted to the people and surroundings I was in. I communicate very differently with a parent who is interested in setting up LunchFox at her school than I do with an Operations Manager of a large chain of cafes. Being able to appropriately adapt to different situations and challenges is definitely an important skill in business.
What have you learned in the past year that you can share as advice?
You have to be willing to put yourself out there. We can develop the most amazing product, design the most beautiful brand, but unless you are out there at the front telling the world about what you do, none of the rest matters. I know from experience that the most successful social media posts or blogs that we create have a focus on me, the team and our story.
People resonate with people, so if you can be a relatable and present figurehead then you are more likely to attract (and retain) customers, clients, employees, investors, you name it.Louise Fisher, Founder at LunchFox
I would also include applying for awards, under this same piece of advice! Keep an eye out for any local or industry awards that seem appropriate. As well as being a great way of sharing your story and getting noticed by industry experts, I always find applying for awards a great exercise in refining and focusing on your brand values. When you only have 50 words to explain your business and passion to a complete stranger, you become very good at focusing on the key things that set you aside from all your competitors. So even if you don’t go home with the accolade, applying for awards is always a beneficial process and experience.
How did winning Pause Awards impact your business?
It has already opened so many doors for us. As a relatively new start up, being able to call ourselves “an award-winning service” really boosts our credibility and viability when approaching new clients. I’ve been surprised by the number of people at networking and industry events who have responded with, “Oh you won a Pause Award? That’s great, they’re big!”
We have also seen a real increase in the number of people reaching out to us, offering their own services and their own support. Again, as an early stage start up, this has been so beneficial. We are now in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose which company stands out to us: who we set up calls with to chat about podcasts, who we arrange to meet for a chat about marketing strategies, whose Instagram feed we feature on … it’s been a hugely positive experience for us, so thank you!