Ordering food for delivery is seemingly limited to pizza or Chinese, but no longer. A number of apps are cropping up that are making practically any food available for delivery anytime, anywhere. One such service, OrderUp, entered the Columbus market last August.
“We really focused on Ohio State’s campus and the surrounding area as the core market,” says Nick Miesen, franchise owner of OrderUp Columbus.
It’s not the drunken, late-night delivery service one might picture when hearing campus is the market, but instead a tool for shuttling lunch and dinner to hungry diners. Current delivery hours are set between 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
However, “As we grow and expand we see those hours expanding as well,” Miesen says.
To use the system, diners can go to OrderUp.Com and enter their address. OrderUp populates a list of all restaurants that are available for delivery to that location, and that list can then be filtered by what is currently available based on the time.
OrderUp keeps their delivery areas tight, aiming for no more than 10 minutes between pickup and delivery.
“We like to think of ourselves as going 10 miles deep and only a mile wide,” Miesen says. It’s all an effort to maintain the quality of the food. Other food delivery services on the market will take food from one end of town to the other, meaning whatever arrives 20 plus minutes later is probably cold.
A tiered delivery fee structure charging $3.99, $4.49 or $4.99 is based on a customer’s distance from the restaurant. All charges for food, delivery and tip can be handled through app.
“Our goal is to really eliminate the cash altogether,” Miesen says.
Another added bonus of the app, “When somebody orders food they can track their food very much like an Uber experience,” Miesen says.
At its core, OrderUp seems like a food delivery service, but on the back-end it’s really a high-tech startup.
“OrderUp was fortunate to receive $10 million in venture capital funding this past year from Revolution Ventures,” Miesen says. The Washington, D.C.-based firm includes other companies like Living Social, ZipCar and RunKeeper in its portfolio.
OrderUp is leveraging the venture dollars to focus on technology. The app is already compatible with Apple Watch and its GPS features are also a highly technical feat. Miesen says that as a tech company, they are generating loads of data they will examine to improve the services as well.
The delivery service was founded in State College, PA (home to Penn State University) about 10 years ago and has since expanded into 35 markets. Campus was chosen for Columbus’ launch point because the app had shown success in other similar university environments.
As such, users will currently find campus-area hot spots like Moe’s, Qdoba and even McDonalds on OrderUp. (They are the only third-party delivery services to have an agreement with the golden arches across the U.S.) The app has started to expand its bounds, including joints like Melt in the Short North, and soon Acre in Old North Columbus.
“We know that as we get off campus our demographic is going to change quite a bit,” Miesen notes.
OrderUp is hoping to differentiate themselves in the growing delivery market by really focusing on community and making themselves accessible to restaurants.
“We want them to see us as a marketer for them,” Miesen says. “To leverage us as an extension of any marketing efforts they are already doing.”
With no fees or long-term contracts to be on the site (OrderUp just takes a small percentage of each order), Miesen says that worst-case scenario, a restaurant doesn’t get any orders but they get a bunch of free advertising, and best-case, they’ll help increase sales and the bottom line.
To OrderUp, visit orderup.com.