David Chang’s Maple Expands Delivery Zone

As of today, workers in midtown now have the option to order there lunch from Maple – the streamlined food delivery competitor of Seamless and Grubhub backed by Momofuku’s David Chang. The Maple app launched last spring, and has since then allowed users downtown to order lunch or dinner from a rotating selection of menus (roughly 5 a day) to be delivered to their work or home. What separates Maple from other delivery apps is that there is no restaurant or selection of restaurants you are ordering from; instead, their small staff operates out of a commissary kitchen testing, preparing, and packaging the recipes each day (although Chang describes the operation as a “real restaurant,” with the app and delivery logistics taking the place of typical front of house operations).

Maple is a favorite of downtown 9-to-5’ers for it’s focus on presentation, affordability, and simple, healthy options. Chang originally invested in the project because he believed that “no one [had] ever taken the time to really do delivery food well.” They are expanding slowly for now, and still have all the trappings of a service-focused start-up: they have a small team of well-paid employees with a high attention to detail, and if you contact them with any problems (like a food order that arrives after 30 minutes), you’re likely to get emails back from a real person whose top priority is keeping you as a customer. Orders even include a free sugar cookie to set them apart. So far all thi has worked to Maple’s advantage, and press has been consistently good. We’ll know soon whether they can build the momentum necessary to compete with top delivery apps on a larger scale.

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