Lifestyle

How is this food-delivery startup standing out? By throwing $1 dinner parties

SpoonRocket

Above: SpoonRocket

Image Credit: Larry Zhou/VentureBeat

SpoonRocket, a startup that delivers meals to people in San Francisco and the East Bay, is trying out an unusual but fitting promotional tool: its special spin on a dinner party.

No matter where you are in San Francisco, next Monday and Tuesday — July 21 and 22 — you can order a SpoonRocket dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. for $1. It’s limited to one dinner per customer, so don’t even think about stocking up.

“Food is such a social experience that we really want to get people to eat together for one day or two days, because, you know, grow up in an Asian family, dinner time, it’s always like, ‘Everyone get around the table and start eating,’” SpoonRocket co-founder and chief technology officer Anson Tsui said in an interview with VentureBeat. “All this is about getting together, and talking about whatever going on, and also the food you are eating.”

Several startups are vying for the top spot in the food-delivery business in San Francisco. SpoonRocket’s competitors include Sprig, Chefler and Munchery.

SpoonRocket started serving lunch in February, and it did a soft launch for dinner service in San Francisco last month. Now SpoonRocket has beefed up for full-bore dinner service.

To prepare for the distributed dinner party, “on the operations side, we have to make sure we have enough food, we have to make sure we have enough drivers,” said Tsui. “It’s a very big event. We are even getting the whole corporate team together.”

That means engineers, interns, chefs, the product team, and even SpoonRocket’s new data scientist. Although Tsui wants to drive as well, he has to man the headquarter.

Supply isn’t the hardest part. Delivery is.

“We are allocating extra drivers to San Francisco,” Tsui said. “We are not moving [drivers] from East Bay to San Francisco.”

Here’s SpoonRocket’s menu, by the way:

Monday

Old-fashioned beef and garden vegetable stew for the omnivore entrée, summer vegetable lasagna for vegetarians, and a fresh salmon Niçoise salad as a meal or appetizer to share.

Tuesday

Oven-roasted Provençal free-range chicken with farmers market vegetables for the omnivore entrée, spinach ricotta ravioli for herbivores, and Southwestern salad with fresh line-caught local albacore tuna.

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