New delivery services moving into the Pittsburgh market are making “at-your-door” options more appealing, especially in cold weather. Chefs and catering companies are already tapping into consumer appetites for something beyond standard deliveries with freshly prepared meals and weekly meal kits.
Beginning today, a new company, goPuff and from the hand of Deliveree, begins servicing the city with an app-based on-demand selection of convenience store items, pet supplies and electronics. All delivered within 30 minutes—all night long.
Winter hibernation at home and the office just got a little more real.
Here’s a quick roundup of some of the more interesting delivery options in the city right now:
goPuff for the equivalent of late-night store runs
goPuff makes almost anything you would need on a late-night store run available at your fingertips. This convenience store delivery start-up was co-founded in 2013 by two Drexel University students and is already popular with college students and people with late-night cravings. Pittsburgh is one of 15 major U.S. markets where the service will be available.
goPuff operates differently from other delivery services in that it has its own fully stocked warehouse in every city so it doesn’t depend on other stores to operate. Munchies, drinks, groceries, office supplies, household essentials and electronic items like phone chargers and batteries are all just a few clicks away.
Items range from grocery staples like eggs and milk to drugstore items like aspirin, condoms and razors. The site offers name brand items grouped under categories like essentials, healthies, finals week, and sips n’ chasers. Anything needed to throw together a last-minute party is available on the site minus the booze (but even that is offered in select markets).
Everything can be ordered through the goPuff mobile app (iOS and Android) or directly on the website.
goPuff offers all of their 3,000+ items for delivery in 30 minutes or less for a fee of $1.95, and is free for orders over $49. Note: Delivery is available from noon until 4:30 a.m.
The start-up company selected Pittsburgh because of its high concentration of young professionals and college students. “We felt like it was a great addition to our growing list of cities and that the people of Pittsburgh would find good use for it,” says Jake Levin, director of marketing. “We also feel that the layout of the city and our office/dispatch center location is optimal and will make for very speedy deliveries,” adds Levin.
Future plans include pursuing a liquor license and offering more Pittsburgh-made products. “We look forward to introducing beer sales as soon as possible. We are also looking forward to introducing products from vendors like Pittsburgh Popcorn, Iron City Beer, and other local companies,” notes Levin.
As a way of celebrating their entry into the Pittsburgh market, every order during the first week will come with a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream.
Food.ee for catering group lunches
This Vancouver-based corporate catering company entered the Pittsburgh market last month. Working with locally-owned restaurants to service orders through their site, they regularly cater lunches for groups ranging anywhere from five to 50 people and can easily accommodate 1000. Their goal is to make lunch ordering at the office a lot easier.
The list of restaurants currently available on the Food.ee site includes B52, Franktuary, Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, and Round Corner Cantina, just to name a few. (Check out their site for a full list). Curated menus from partner restaurants are easy to navigate on the site with clearly marked options for specific types of diners and those with food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Here’s how it works: orders are placed through the site 24 hours in advance through one person at the office who is picking up the tab. Convenient options like “team ordering into a shared cart” allows different people throughout an office to make individual selections at their desk, without the chaos usually involved in wrangling large orders.
Food.ee offers more than a simple delivery. Delivery staff provide assistance with set-up as well.
Early reactions in the Pittsburgh market have been very positive, says Wayne Webb, director of operations at Food.ee. “Not only was Pittsburgh one of our more successful launches, but new customers have been turning into repeat clients and current clients are increasing their order frequency,” notes Webb, adding, “We are still sourcing more local restaurant partnerships, and have some ambitious goals for 2017.”
One of the newest restaurant partners will be Umami in Lawrenceville. “I think Food.ee is a great way to connect diners with our local restaurants,” says Chef Roger Li of Umami and the soon-to-be-open Ki Ramen Noodle House.
In addition to expanding their roster of restaurants to choose from, Food.ee offers themed lunches for larger office groups like taco bars and gourmet hot dog stations.
Food.ee is currently operating in seven U.S. cities in addition to Pittsburgh.