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Business & Economy

Grubhub, Door Dash, Josephine, and Sprig: The future of food delivery startups




Services like Munchery set a weekly menu of dishes that can be ordered for delivery and only feature organic ingredients.
Services like Munchery set a weekly menu of dishes that can be ordered for delivery and only feature organic ingredients.
Sharon Hahn Darlin via Flickr

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Remember the days when you actually had to call a pizza joint or a Chinese place to order your food? So 2000, right?

Well, thanks to the Internet and a few hungry entrepreneurs, we can now get hot food delivered right to our door with just a few taps of a smartphone screen.

In most major cities, apps like Grubhub, Eat24, and Seamless let customers order from the full menus of a number of local restaurants and get a portion of the profits from orders made through the app.

Door Dash contracts drivers to pick up orders from restaurants and bring them to customers, which allows customers to even order from places like fast-food joints or chain restaurants that don’t offer delivery.

Looking to eat healthy, organic food? There’s an app for that, too. Services like Sprig and Munchery set a weekly menu of dishes that can be ordered for delivery and only feature organic ingredients. There’s even an service that lets you order a home-cooked meal from a chef in your neighborhood.

While it’s only available to Bay Area residents, Josephine screens and hires chefs who live in various neighborhoods and offer meals they made right in their kitchen. The catch is that the cooks only offer the meals at certain times of the day, and you have to go to the cook’s house to pick up your food.

Do you prefer to use food delivery apps to calling in your order? Is it the convenience factor or something else? What does the rising popularity of these apps mean for the future of home-cooking? Is there a cost to the convenience factor?

Guest:

Brian X. Chen, lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times