Local Fast food delivery
There are some nights when Andreas Goeldi just doesn’t have the time to make dinner. The chief technology officer at the YouTube marketing firm Pixability is the father of two young children, and like so many busy parents, he and his wife often found themselves ordering dinner out on days when their schedules were slammed.
But he found Seamless and other restaurant delivery services were less seamless than promised, and he grew sick of waiting for his food to arrive to his home in Cambridge.
“Takeout is a challenge, ” he said. “Seamless and DiningIn typically take an hour, sometimes longer. My kids have to go to bed.”
So when he came across a flier for a new Cambridge startup, Bite Kite, he was ready to, well, bite. The service promised hot meals in under 25 minutes, delivered to a home or office. “I don’t think I’ve waited more than 10 minutes, ” he said.
Bite Kite, launched in January, has been serving lunch and dinner on weekdays in Cambridge and Somerville (it’s currently only offering lunch on Fridays) and plans to expand its service to Boston next month. Users order the food with an app. Every morning, a new menu is posted, offering a limited selection of healthy, locally sourced meals such as Moroccan chicken or spring vegetable empanadas, which have been prepared by Bite Kite chefs in a commissary in Malden.
Unlike most fast food services, Bite Kite only offers three dishes a day, plus a drink. Keeping options to a minimum is essential to its business model, said the company’s cofounder, Momtaz Moussa. “Customers don’t have to think much about the order and that’s what they like about the service. It literally takes about 30 seconds to order.”
The model of a healthy, on-demand dinner isn’t an entirely new concept. Two startups, Sprig and SpoonRocket, are operating in the Bay Area with cult-like status, using an identical model. SpoonRocket has raised $13.5 million in backing from the likes of Y Combinator; while Sprig has $11.7 million in venture funds from Greylock Partners among others.
Like Sprig and SpoonRocket, the secret sauce to Bite Kite’s delivery model is a highly designed experience that focuses on expedience. Moussa and his team have designed a system that places five to seven Bite Kite delivery drivers in strategic places throughout Cambridge and Somerville. Each day at 11:30 a.m., as orders begin to come in through the app, drivers are dispatched to the location nearest to them, using an algorithm that Moussa compared to the one used by Uber drivers.
A “proxy” vehicle shuttles food between the commissary site and the drivers, replenishing dishes in each car’s onboard heater. Lunch service concludes at 1 p.m., the dinner rush runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Users can track their delivery as the driver approaches, and all credit card information is stored in the app, meaning payment, including tip, is taken care of. Most lunches cost between $8 and $10, and dinners top out at $14.
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