Kulp, who co-owns Honey Butter Fried Chicken, a Chicago restaurant, had already shipped ahead his trademark honey butter. Two-thousand miles away from his home base, Kulp was taking a risk as he prepped his food to serve a new market in California with potentially different tastes.
“This feels like we’re operating a restaurant here,” Kulp said. “There’s a lot of unknown.”
As the competition between delivery companies heats up in a very crowded market, the next battleground is in the kitchen.
Food-delivery startups from DoorDash to Uber Eats to Postmates are all now experimenting with different ways to maximize a restaurant’s kitchen — and in turn, generate more customers and more orders for partner restaurants. The delivery companies’ tactics range from deploying mini kitchen trailers to renting out extra space at fairgrounds to launching online-only companies. In a competitive market estimated to be worth $30bn, each company is trying to play to its strengths to make sure it is the first app that a customer opens when they’re hungry.
Back in Oakland, Caviar, a food-delivery startup owned by Square, had rented a catering space for Honey Butter Fried Chicken to set up its delivery-only pop-up for the weekend. The Chicago restaurant had been a loyal partner of its delivery service, so a Caviar manager enticed Kulp to try a weekend in the Bay Area and see if Honey Butter's fried chicken appealed to taste buds across state lines.
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