AN app that connects people across Central Scotland with independent restaurants they can order from and save money has closed its latest funding round bringing its total investment to £1 million.

Secret Takeaways, which can save consumers an average of 23% and restaurants more than a third in commission charges compared with big delivery apps, was launched in Edinburgh and Glasgow in June.

It gives local, independent restaurants the opportunity to reach a large audience, as well as offering savings for customers.

More than 100 restaurants in the two cities have signed up so far, including Shinsen Sushi, Luxford Burgers, Eusebi Deli and Mana Poke.

“We began life as a single page website during March 2020 to support restaurants that had to find a new way to access the market, said Calum McPherson, who founded Secret Takeaways.

“Today, we’re incredibly humbled by the support and backing we’ve received which will allow us to further invest in our infrastructure, hire additional team members as well as expand into more cities across the UK, with Manchester next in line.”

Since its launch the app has grown at an incredible rate, amassing more than 70,000 users across Edinburgh and Glasgow and building a team of eight people.

“The market is still young and food delivery apps were the second evolutionary wave after ordering over the phone from a menu in a kitchen drawer,” he said.

“We believe the future of this market is that consumers will have a direct relationship with restaurants again and stop throwing money away to the middlemen.

“We’re the first business in the world to shake up the current takeaway model and put the power back in the restaurant owners’ and consumers’ hands. We’re excited to be the change that the industry needs.”

Early in the pandemic, many restaurants were taking orders over the phone or social media.

As lockdown continued, a trend emerged of eateries building their own websites and apps using off-the-shelf software to let consumers order directly from them.

McPherson added: “Once you have your website or app, the customer still has to find it in order to place an order.

“This is where Secret Takeaways has been able to step in and drive traffic directly to the restaurants who can save between £3-£5 per order when a consumer orders directly from them.

“We’ve saved tens of thousands of pounds for businesses in Edinburgh and Glasgow and are extremely motivated to grow that number across the country.”