We’re all guilty of eating repetitive lunches at our desks from the same local deli or a couple of restaurants we found on Seamless.
A brand-new startup is looking to break the cycle. Known as City Lunch Club, the company delivers lunches from 25 restaurants in New York’s Gramercy and Union Square neighborhoods to paying subscribers.
They officially launched on Monday.
“Seamless does an unbelievable job at providing food delivery as a utility service. You can go on there and find a ton of restaurants and options. We found that on average people have 3-5 restaurants that they order from online and they usually have 1-2 dishes that they’d get from each place regularly,” Andrew Hersch, City Lunch Club Co-Founder and COO, said to Business Insider. “There are over 20,000 restaurants in New York City alone, and we want people to not only experience something different, but something that we have vetted out for quality.”
City Lunch Club subscribers choose how many lunches they’d like to receive in a week, with prices for each lunch ranging between $US10.99 and $US12.99, depending on how many they choose.
Each morning, subscribers receive an email from City Lunch Club with three lunch options from the day’s featured restaurant. They have to make a choice by 10:30 to be included in the day’s deliveries, scheduled to arrive sometime between 11:30 and 1.
They have partnerships with 25 restaurants so far, including Nicoletta, Taqueria Diana, Devi, and Zampa.
Some of these restaurants are pretty high-end, but Hersch says their subscription model helps them to keep prices affordable for their subscribers. Plus, they hope to encourage people to sign up in office groups by offering discounts to people getting their food delivered to the same location.
“We are able to effectively predict how many people will be ordering every day and offer consistent order volumes for restaurants… Our specially selected menu of signature top dishes help our partners streamline their purchases and identify how much of the ingredients they’ll need ahead of time,” Hersch said. “Also, orders are finalised by 10:30 a.m., allowing restaurants to prep and deliver orders before their normal lunch business comes in.”
The exposure restaurants will get by participating in the service is another factor that Hersch thinks will be important to the company’s success.
“Our restaurant partners are eager to get its awesome food in front of new customers that work nearby that may then come for happy hour or dinner,” he said.
According to Hersch, City Lunch Club hasn’t received funding from investors just yet.
“We are completely bootstrapped for the time being,” he said. “While we are always excited to talk to investors because of what we can learn from them, we wanted to prove that our model is unique for providing food discovery for foodies and a turnkey perk for companies before taking an investment.”
Though they’re only delivering in zip codes 10010 and 10003 right now, they hope to expand to the rest of Manhattan before the summer and another city by the end of the year. Hersch says they’ve already received requests from companies in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
We’re testing City Lunch Club this week and will update with a review of the service and food.