Living in the San Francisco Bay Area as it's benefits as the forefront of ideas and technology. One recent innovation is improvement in the area of ready-to-eat food delivery. The history before this food innovation took hold as I remember it is as follows:
Ordering ahead via the phone for take out at a restaurant, then driving personally to the restaurant to pay and pick up the food. The benefit of ordering ahead is not having to wait for the kitchen to prepare your meal.
Then came delivery by fast food restaurants owners for simple foods like pizza in the suburbs. In the big city, many simple restaurants offered delivery within a certain radius. The problem was the restaurants that offered delivery were often time greasy and unhealthy. The most likely reason is the only restaurants that offered delivery were ones with low profit margin menu items that depend heavily on order volume.
Starts-up like GrubHub and Eat24 then began opening up that offered to pick-up food from higher end restaurants that did not themselves offer a delivery option. These starts up would take orders and their employees would deliver the food. On the surface, this is a huge win for the diner. The starts-ups would charge the restaurant a fee for each delivery. However, as these start-ups deliver more food for a restaurant, they begin charging a higher commission fee, which squeezes the restaurant owner's profits. This is commonly what happens when multiple businesses are involved.
Today, there is a new start-up called Munchery. Their selected chefs (from well regarded restaurants, catering businesses, private chefs, etc) offer a different menu each day. The food is cooked in certified commercial kitchens with fresh ingredients and delivered chilled. In this manner, small restaurant profits are not squeezed by start-up.
During their start-up period, Munchery has sent out many snail mail fliers offering a free meal. I already redeemed my free meal and I admit the food is exceptionally good, comparable to restaurants. They portion for one adult (12-16 oz) which isn't quite enough for me personally, but eating a better portion size is probably not a bad idea.
I ordered the night before (Thursday night) for a Friday dinner delivery. The ordering process is very simple and streamlined. Additionally, a big change from restaurants the ingredients and preparation along with a nutritional value table is available when ordering. You choose a 1 hour delivery window, but they also send a text 10 minutes before they'll arrive.
The food itself required a few minutes in the microwave and the meal is ready. This is perfect for the busy professional or individuals without much time to prepare dinner (think parents caring for babies). The shrimp pasta we ordered was small, but did come with 5 or 6 pieces of large juicy shrimp.
Would I try Munchery again? I would absolutely order again, especially it if I knew in advance I had a busy night or no food at home. Not only does Munchery make it easier than compared to driving out to a restaurant only to deal with a crowd, but it's also probably healthier since I have a better idea of what is going into my food.