The three-and-a-half-year-old San Francisco meal delivery startup Munchery, which recently raised $85 million, is expanding to D.C.
Munchery officially launches service in the District on today, June 13.
The startup offers a rotating menu of dinner entrees, sides, kids meals and drinks that are prepared by company chefs, ordered ahead by the busy millennial/family and delivered directly to their doorstep. Meals are cheap and the food is fresh and healthy — it’s meant to be a reasonable replacement for at-home cooking.
That’s because the model is similar to D.C.-based startup Galley, which also delivers fresh, affordable meals prepared in a kitchen in Ivy City. It did not raise $85 million last year.
Until now, Galley’s direct competition in the District has been limited. Sure, you could argue that the company is competing with Postmates or Caviar or Doordash or one of the myriad other food delivery services, but this would undersell the fact that Galley does far more than simply bring restaurant food from Point A to Point B.
Now, though, Galley’s competitive landscape is about to change. Munchery is coming to town. Can Galley compete?
To answer this question, it’s worth looking at a couple current differences between the services each company provides.
First — timing.
Both Galley and Munchery are primarily order-ahead conveniences rather than on-demand food services. However, over the past few months Galley has grown to accommodate on-demand delivery in some areas of D.C. By contrast, Munchery is, at this point, strictly order-ahead. Munchery founder and CEO Tri Tran told Technical.ly in an email that (for now, at least) Munchery’s food will be prepared in its kitchen in New York and transported to D.C. by refrigerated truck. This, understandably, means you’ve got to order by 9 a.m. on the day of delivery, but you can also order up to 10 days in advance.
Next — selection.
Munchery has a wider selection of meals than Galley. It also offers sides, desserts, specific kids meals and drinks like San Pellegrino or coconut water. Galley, on the other hand, delivers wine and kids lunches for the next day.
On pricing the two services are in a pretty similar range. Galley entrees cost around $12-$16, but that includes all other fees. Munchery, on the other hand, may have entrees available for just $8, but there’s a $2.95 delivery fee added later.
Munchery founder Tran told Technical.ly he chose D.C. for Munchery’s second East Coast city (it joins the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, L.A. and New York) because it’s “city where everyone is always on the move.” And honestly, given this, there’s probably room in this city for more than one chef-prepared meal delivery service. But the introduction of Munchery is certainly a change for Galley, and it’ll interesting to see how the space evolves.
Munchery will be available in D.C. proper and parts of Arlington, Monday through Friday, starting on June 13. Tran said he hopes to expand to other parts of the surrounding suburbs soon.