Munchery Rebuilds Mobile Apps, Hires 3-Star Chef And Gets Into Booze

Munchery today announced a grab-bag of updates to its platform, including a redesign of its menus, new iOS apps, support for kids' meals, booze delivery (including gluten-free options), and carbon offsetting of deliveries. The list is diverse, but the thrust of the updates is that Munchery is tightening its core dinner experience. Munchery brings together chefs to prepare meals then delivers the meals, almost ready-to-eat, to Bay Area residents. There is a bit of final cooking to do with your delivered food, so even if you are technically ordering in, it's up to you to finish prepping your dinner. Let's get into what's new. The Munchery iPhone and iPad apps have been improved, so they don't crash as much. The company is claiming a 5X speed boost, but really what users will find pleasant is that they won't fail on them when trying to order. Most important among the updates, in my humble view, is the inclusion of alcohol delivery. In the past, Munchery had what it calls "a small selection of wine now and then." The service will now feature wine, beer, and cider. No whiskey, sadly. Also, tea from the Samovar Tea Company, coffee from Philz, and fresh juices will be available. Munchery also announced today that it has hired Bridget Batson, a three-star chef. While Munchery has long depended on its network of independent chefs, it is bulking up internally, to offer food that it sources in-house. This way it can expand its offerings to other dietary styles (Paleo, for example, could be one) that it doesn't yet support. You aren't a kid, but you might have one or two. Munchery now supports kids menus, so you don't have to attempt to get little Joey to eat Brussels sprouts. The company will also now carbon offset the impact of its delivery vehicles with tree planting, and expand its program to donate money to the SF and Marin food banks. Finally, Munchery has put together new packaging. This is cooler than it sounds. Remember that Munchery requires you to do the last step with your food, either in the oven or in your microwave. Its new delivery containers are both microwave- and oven-safe and look quite nice to boot: So, what do all the little updates sum to? Simply that Munchery has put together a service that allows any family in the Bay Area to eat well at home, on whatever diet, every night, and without the need to order Chinese yet again. This is appealing in a locale where people are busy, and wealthy, making the Bay Area a perfect spot to prove Munchery's model, if the company does have real product market fit. The Munchery premise is appealing in locations where the population is wealthy and busy. This makes the Bay Area a logical place for the company to try its model and prove product-market fit. I eat far too much delivered food, and I'm sure you do, too. I've used the service in the past, and found the experience pleasant, but not mind-blowing. I'll be re-testing it with the new updates this week, to get a handle on how it has grown up. If Munchery can keep us fed, and perhaps keep us slightly healthier, then that's something worth trying. Top Image Credit: Flickr
Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

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