Running a restaurant is a complicated and costly endeavour. One way around it: a delivery-only food service.
That’s the latest big idea from Momofuku founder David Chang, one of the most influential chefs working today. News of the concept — called “Ando” — was reported Wednesday in Fast Company.
Ando is a partnership with Expa, a startup lab developed by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai, and Ando partner Hooman Radfar, among others. All meals will be ordered on a mobile app, and couriered straight to hungry eaters via the UberRush service.
With a planned launch in Manhattan this spring, Ando will reportedly serve up some of Chang’s greatest hits (like Southern-style fried chicken) as well as brand-new recipes, including a chicken “cheesesteak” with house-made American cheese sauce, according to Fast Company. For dessert, Christina Tosi will be creating a selection of just-for-Ando Milk Bar cookies in flavours like salt and pepper. And to keep it kitsch and on-brand, all the dishes will come in Chinese-style takeout boxes.
This isn’t Chang’s first venture into the delivery space; he’s a backer of the healthy delivery service Maple, which launched last spring and has received top reviews for its reasonable, fixed-price meals and health-conscious options.
It’s been a big year for Chang. Besides the involvement with Maple, he opened Momofuku Nishi this winter, a full-service restaurant serving a creative take on Italian cuisine, but made with Korean ingredients. Most critics have raved, although Eater’s critic Ryan Sutton noted that the restaurant experience left much to be desired — with which Chang himself agreed, Sutton said.
“Nishi is hobbled by its physical space, its prices, and its incomplete presentation of high-end dining,” Sutton wrote.
Ando may not have opened yet, but one thing’s already for sure: the delivery-only approach means it certainly won’t be facing any complaints about acoustics or table service. Now we just have to taste-test that cheesy chicken.
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