In an ever-crowded field of food delivery apps – Foodee is not just another in the lineup. While there’s food and delivery, the audience and the details differ.
“We only partner with local restaurants and we only deliver to offices and businesses in Columbus,” says Operations Manager Kasia Michalska.
Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Spong hatched the idea for the B2B service when Vancouver winter hit his taco truck. As he faced time with no business, he recalled a previous career in banking and finance and the sad lunches at team meetings and trainings that came with it. Cold cuts on terrible bread with loads of mayo – he asked why not connect small, local restaurants with these businesses?
Columbus was one of a trio of new cities for the Vancouver-based app in 2016. Since its beginnings in 2011, Foodee has expanded to three markets in Canada and eight markets in the U.S.
Columbus made the list after a visit from Director of Operations Wayne Webb. Not only did he enjoy the quality of the food, but “He chose Columbus because he really liked the vibe of the city, the culture around Downtown – he loved the Short North area,” Michalska says.
While a strong food scene obviously brings food delivery services in, it’s the local eateries that are the focus for Foodee. Marketing Manager Mallory Holmes says Foodee doesn’t just partner with anyone. It’s the owner-operated, smaller ventures with the great food. The platform aims to help give businesses and corporations access to those eats.
While there’s no fee for restaurants, eateries do have to sign up to be a part of the platform. Holmes explains that they want restaurants that want to be a part of Foodee and want to participate.
Foodee looks to make the process as easy as possible for restaurant partners. The platform hires its own drivers in-house – not contractors – for delivery. It adds another level of control to the process, providing training and equipment to transport food. Foodee also tries to schedule pick-ups for off-peak hours before or after lunch rush.
Instead of signing up and being handed an iPad, restaurants – and customers – have a local contacts familiar with the market.
“We want to make sure that our clients are actually getting someone who is a local,” Holmes says.
It’s especially helpful on the customer end for the menu recommendation service that’s unique to Foodee. The office administrators or event coordinators that are the target market for the platform can gather the office’s budget and dietary restrictions, and, “We look at all that information and try to curate a menu,” Michalska says, returning recommendations to accommodate a customer’s needs.
“It’s pretty hard to recommend if they haven’t tasted the food,” Holmes says referring to Foodee’s local account managers.
Organizers can also opt for a team ordering feature. Team members are given a budget, pick the food that fits their fancy, add it to the cart and the lunch organizer is notified as orders are submitted.
Foodee delivers within the 270 loop and surrounding suburbs (Dublin, Worthington, Westerville, etc.). It’s a $15 fee with a minimum $40 order.
“We do require usually a 24-hour minimum,” Holmes adds.
There’s some room for accommodation in location and times. Depending on the size of the order, Foodee will accommodate businesses from outside the delivery zone. With local account managers, a Foodee worker can also help reach out to restaurants for last-minute orders.
After a soft launch in Mid October and formal launch in early November, feedback from businesses has been largely positive. The platform is also trying to expand its restaurant base, and looking for feedback from clients about what kind of food they want to eat.
For more information, visit food.ee.