With a more curated approach to food delivery, there’s an increased emphasis on quality, health and seasonality as well.
For years food delivery services have sold themselves on numbers. Seamless offers 12,000 different restaurants while Eat 24 boasts 20,000. Now, a more curated approach is taking hold.
Maple, the much anticipated delivery service backed by Momofuku’s David Chang, launched at the end of April. There are only three lunch and three dinner options on a menu that changes daily, cooked by Maple’s team of chefs. Dishes have included coconut green curry chicken with fragrant rice, a Mediterranean vegetable bowl with cous cous and a chorizo muffuletta sandwich. Dishes cost $12-15, including tax, tip and delivery, and will arrive within 30 minutes.
Arcade takes this curation a step further. A spin-off from New York–based Stadium (which lets customers mix and match, ordering dishes from different restaurants from a curated menu), Arcade offers just one option each day. Aimed at office workers, Arcade texts users each morning with that day’s dish. If they reply ‘Yes,’ it will be delivered to them by 1pm.
Both services are only available in New York, which is quickly becoming a crowded marketplace. April also saw the launch of Uber’s limited menu delivery service UberEats, launching with an exclusive sandwich from American Cut and a kale caesar salad from Sweetgreen, all delivered within ten minutes with a flat-rate delivery fee of $4. UberEats already been a success in Barcelona and Los Angeles.
Stephanie Chin, who works with restaurants to curate a menu for Stadium and Arcade, says that fewer options means better choices, citing Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice. “If customers know everything is really good, it encourages them to be adventurous,” she explains. “It stops customers getting ‘dish fatigue.’”
As food delivery aims to do less, there’s an increased emphasis on quality, health and seasonality as well. “Delivery food doesn’t have to mean late night greasy Chinese take out,” says Chin.
Image credit: Maple