It doesn't look like meal delivery services are fading away anytime soon: According to the New York Times, Peach — a West Coast-based start up — has secured $8 million in a recent round of funding. Peach, which currently operates in Seattle, Wash. and San Diego, Calif., delivers lunches from local restaurants and mainly targets office workers.
Unlike similar companies, such as Seamless and PostMates, there is no app. Instead, the company creates a weekly menu (which includes vegetarian options) that it "delivers to users via text message." Once users sign up for an account — which includes placing a credit card on file for payment and picking their place of work — users can order their lunches for an entire week ahead of time, or they can place the order the day of. If a user responds to the texted link with a "yes," the food is delivered to a predetermined office building by lunchtime. While it is strange that the company does not have an app, it appears as if the simplified text message system offers less opportunities for errors in the order. The company says that it has delivered over 400,000 lunches since it launched last June.
The Seattle Times writes that Peach has partnerships with 125 restaurants across the two cities. The company takes about 15 to 20 percent of each sale, and the restaurant keeps the rest. However, the dishes are usually marked up from their original prices so that the restaurants aren't taking a steep hit. Peach's CEO Nishant Singh says that often a number of workers in a single office will place an order which is the company's main appeal. Peach can "provide a bulk-order boost to restaurants' business during what would typically be slow periods." The restaurants handle the delivery but Peach will help them coordinate with a third party delivery service if they wish to do so.
Singh says Peach will use the money to expand to new cities: "This money is going to be pumped into expansion and making Peach a more successful business." First up is Boston, which will then be followed by Washington, DC. The company also plans to use the funding to hire an additional 20 staff members.
There has been a recent rise in lunchtime delivery services and perhaps the largest company to enter the arena is driver service Uber. The company recently expanded its UberEats program. The service offers a handful of "curated" daily options from local restaurants each day. Users select the dish they want and an Uber car delivers the meal curbside. UberEats is currently available in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Barcelona, and most recently, Austin.