To order lunch, just text

To order lunch, just text

Delivery platform Peach is changing how people eat at work.

The tech world is out to cause another disruption. This time, it’s shaking up eateries at the workplace.

Meet Peach, a delivery service designed to make weekday lunches easier. Like GrubHub or Caviar, it’s a platform where hungry people can order food from local restaurants—and have said food brought right to their door. What makes it different? It’s tailored to work environments instead of people at home.

Rather than offering delivery from every single restaurant in town, Peach curates a daily menu for an entire workplace consisting of just a few choices. And instead of the usual $5 or $6 delivery fee, it charges customers just $1. Bringing a large quantity of lunch orders to a single location means the platform can charge less for delivery. “Because we aggregate lunch demand, we get a lot of volume from that workplace,” explains CEO and Co-founder Nishat Singh. “Instead of having one delivery person bring food to one customer [at their home], we have one delivery person bring food to 50 or 100 customers [at their workplace].”

Here’s how it works: When a workplace signs up for Peach, employees can opt in to receive a text message with that day’s lunch options. The text goes out at 7:30 each morning, with the option to choose one of three dishes from two different local restaurants. Employees have until 10:30 a.m. to reply their order (“A” for option 1, “B” for option 2, etc.). The restaurants and menu options change daily.

At that point Peach sends the orders over to the restaurants, which start preparing the lunches. Then a Peach delivery driver picks up the orders and brings them to the workplace between 11:45 and 12:15. Each lunch is boxed individually, and meals are distributed from a central location. Employees just have to walk over and pick up their food.

Users love Peach because it’s simple—and it saves them time, says Singh. Ordering lunch at work is fun, but trying to get everyone to agree on a restaurant and collect orders can be a hassle. “Peach just tells people what’s available in a text and they pick,” he says. And without having to wait in line at the cafeteria, employees can spend more time enjoying their lunch break. There’s also the variety factor. “Café food menus don’t change much,” Singh says. With Peach, users can try something new every day.

And restaurants are fans too. Peach provides a huge volume of orders for just a few menu items, and it sends the orders in advance. It also gives restaurants the opportunity to see what they’re doing right and where they can improve. After lunch is delivered, users are invited to rate their meal and provide feedback on everything from flavor to packaging. And that feedback is handed over to restaurants free of charge. “It’s in our benefit,” Singh says. “If they do good food, people will keep ordering.”

But what about B&I dining programs? Plenty of them look at Peach as a threat, but Singh doesn’t see it that way. “People want both options. For instance, Amazon has a café and Peach delivers there. So there’s a synergy,” he says. Peach has also spoken with Compass to begin operations at Microsoft, but it isn’t running on the platform yet.

Singh also sees Peach as a way for workplace eateries to increase their business. Vendors, just like restaurants, can opt in to have their food featured on Peach, so employees could use the platform to order from their own cafeteria or café. Peach could also help vendors expand their business to other nearby workplaces. “If they wanted to get more ambitious, why couldn’t Google deliver to Amazon, and vice versa?” Singh says. And vendors, just like restaurants, could take advantage of customer feedback to make improvements to their menus.

Peach sees its ordering and delivery model as the way of the future, especially for smaller businesses. For employees, it saves time and energy so they can be more productive. And for workplace vendors, it has the potential to cut costs. “Cafés only work on big campuses. Catering is wasteful,” Singh explains. “For companies with less than 1,000 people, delivery is the perfect solution, because you only pay for what you order.”

Peach currently operates in Seattle (where the company) was founded, along with Boston, San Diego and Dallas-Fort Worth. It plans to expand deeper into those cities this year and begin branching out into other cities next year.

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