Rosslyn, Virginia-based HUNGRY is helping to feed the communities it serves in a new way.
The four-year-old company connects independent chefs with office and event catering gigs online. Since the spread of COVID-19, HUNGRY pivoted its business and now delivers its chef-made meals directly to consumers instead of offices.
Like most businesses, HUNGRY cofounder and COO Eman Pahlevani told Technical.ly, the company’s sales have taken a big hit in the past few weeks, which is why it quickly created its new home delivery platform called HUNGRY@Home. Consumers seem to love the new platform so far, he said, which offers family-style meal plans with free delivery.
“Same amazing chefs and delivery captains, just a different delivery destination,” Pahlevani said.
HUNGRY has transitioned 50 chefs already using its flagship platform to HUNGRY@Home to offer meals with a starting value at $100. Each order includes two main dishes and two sides for a total of eight servings. Consumers can place single meal orders or create weekly meal plans. All orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Saturdays to receive meals for the upcoming week on a selected delivery date.
Chris Bassett, a chef using HUNGRY’s new home delivery platform, says his experience with the company has been positive so far. He came onboard with HUNGRY last August and said the platform has allowed him to get back to his passion of cooking for others, as well as making money.
“Hungry has been a great experience for me, not only from the cooking aspect, but the people part of it as well, Bassett said. “In addition to the business side, Hungry does an amazing job in the community as well, and to be a part of something like that is just a really good feeling.”
Though the revenue he gets from using HUNGRY’s platform isn’t Bassett’s primary source of income, he said it’s been a helpful avenue to access during this time and keeps him up to date on new food trends.
Pahlevani said the company will work to transition more chefs to the new platform as demand increases, and that HUNGRY has already received over 1,000 orders in the first 10 days of HUNGRY@Home being launched. This new offering could last past the pandemic since business is doing so well: “HUNGRY will come out of this stronger with [this] new product line.”
The company is also accepting monetary donations to enable it to deliver free meals to healthcare workers.
“Thanks to Kevin Hart and Todd Gurley donating through HUNGRY, we now have people from all over the country donating through HUNGRY to help feed those in need, including first responders,” Pahlevani said.
The COO said that the HUNGRY has been able to stay afloat financially since the company closed a $20 million Series B funding round early last month. HUNGRY has raised $29.5 million in venture capital to date.
The company’s team of 80 full-timers have been working remotely since around March 1. Pahlevani said none of the HUNGRY’s employees have had to endure pay cuts or layoffs at this point.
“Our business is also very capital efficient since we don’t have fixed assets,” he said. “We are taking it one day at a time and are focusing our energy and efforts around building a sustainable home offering for our customers.”
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