New Startup, Local Eateries Partner in 'Virtual Food Truck'
No time to go out to lunch, but sick of brown bagging it? Foodsby might have the answer.
Eating out during the workday is a welcome alternative to brown bagging it, but not every employee has the time to get away or a nearby food truck to visit.
But Minneapolis-based Foodsby is offering workers a third option for their on-the-job meals by providing an online venue where workers and restaurants can come together.
“The thing that’s different about our business is we act as a virtual food truck,” said Ben Cattoor, the founder and CEO of the six-person company.
The way it works is customers first use the website to list their workplaces as delivery locations. Although the service only launched in July, it already serves buildings in locations like Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park.
Restaurants then look through the list of locations and choose the days and times that work best for them. The service has Hopkins restaurants like Aji and the Big Ten, a variety of Eden Prairie restaurants and more. Once the delivery schedule is set, customers order their food and the restaurants deliver it.
Cattoor said the company’s niche is in allowing restaurants to reach customers without the costly commitment of buying a food truck or staffing up to provide full-scale delivery service. The restaurants themselves dictate when they deliver—and may stop by buildings anywhere from one to five times a week.
Doing that can allow them to reach new customers. Just before Patch spoke to Cattoor, Hopkins’ Big Ten Restaurant and Bar delivered 16 orders to a building in a neighboring community.
It’s also convenient for the customers because they don’t have to round up enough of their colleagues to justify an order. They just go online and order what they want. Customers pay for their food directly on Foodsby. There are no order minimums or tipping on the service, and restaurants can’t charge more than 15 percent for a delivery fee.
The process didn’t just happen, though. Foodsby spent the first five months of its existence just working with restaurants to make it as easy as possible for them to use.
“They actually love it,” Cattoor said.
The company is still in the start-up stage but has big plans ahead. The goal is to take the company nationwide in the next few year, Cattoor said.
“By allowing restaurants to dictate, we allow restaurants that don’t normally deliver to deliver.”