Dear Munchery customers,
Starting Tuesday January 17th, we will be introducing a delivery charge as a separate line item on home delivery orders. Before you gasp and throw tomatoes at us, please read on.
Up till now, delivery expenses have been accounted for in the price of all our meals. We invest deeply to build an exceptional delivery experience (a professional delivery team who love what they do, SMS before your meals arrive, courtesy calls, always optional gratuity, etc). We’ve gotten tons of positive feedback from delighted customers raving about the Munchery experience.
So why are we talking about separating out the delivery cost from the meal cost? Transparency and value. Starting 1/17, featured meals will be reduced across the board by $3 and we will charge a modest $2.95 delivery cost. If you order a single meal, the net cost of your meal will be the same as before. Nothing changes. If you order two or more meals, your total cost will actually be cheaper than before!
Here’s the breakdown:
Old Pricing: Single meal @ $18 with free delivery = $18
New Pricing: Single meal @ $15 with $2.95 delivery = $17.95
Old Pricing: Two meals @ $18 with free delivery = $36
New Pricing: Two meals @ $15 with $2.95 delivery = $32.95 (Cheaper!)
With the new pricing, you will continue to get the same great delivery experience and save a few bucks while you’re at it. We want to give our customers the best value they can possibly get for such a traditionally upscale privilege as having your own personal chef.
This is just the first step. Keep on the look out as we continue to democratize the personal chef experience.
As always, we love your feedback and hope you’ll write to us about this change.
The Munchery Team
It’s time for a brief year-end report. Since the launch of Munchery seven months ago, we have come a long way.
What started as just an idea, a pilot light, has now become a full fledged business.
On a typical day, we serve about 100 meals (some days less, some days nearly 200). We started with meals for individuals, and expanded to serve businesses and groups in September. We strive to provide a consistent, high quality experience to our customers. Their satisfaction is always our top priority. So far, they have great things to say:
“Wonderful…Perfect…A gift for the palate” — Shirley C. of San Francisco
“OMG. Best, easiest, most delicious Thanksgiving dinner ever!” — Katherine B. of San Francisco
Towards the end of 2011, we secured a commercial kitchen space in the Mission District for our chefs to use. Our delivery drivers mount fancy back-lit signs on their cars, which are best seen at night!
We now have many chefs on rotation, and we carefully screen and select new chefs to introduce to you. Our team strives to make cooking for Munchery customers a joy to all our chefs. This translates directly to delicious and fresh food, prepared with utmost care and passion.
Besides our popular Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner platters, our chefs offer a whole range of meals on a daily basis, from the most simple yet tasty ones such as meatloaf and pot pies to elaborate meals like lamb chops and Dungeness crabs.
We have begun to video our chefs cooking. We expect to build up a nice video library for your viewing enjoyment.
Our passions for food, technology, and customer service are what drive us. We look forward to an exciting 2012. There are many exciting offerings in the works, and we just can’t wait to show them off.
Many thanks to:
Our chefs, who work tirelessly to bring you the best food quality
Ron Lewis at Mission Creek Kitchen
Hayden McComas, executive chef of CHOICE Catering
Diane Rieger, our lead delivery driver
And to our customers, many of which are employees at offices around the Bay: Thank you for your support all year long!
Happy New Year!
It seems popular nowadays for new companies to launch using the peer-to-peer (P2P) business model. The main concept of this model borrows from the distributed computer architecture where data or workload can be shared among equally privileged peers within a network. Peer-to-peer moves beyond computers and translates well into the real world because many people already own a product or service that is deemed valuable by others in the same community.
The classic P2P model works well when the product (or service, but I’ll just use “product” to mean both from now on) being offered is a fixed and relatively well known item. Popular examples include: books, cars, songs and movies. The task at hand for the company is then to create an effective marketplace for people to share their goods and potentially charge a fee for it.
Here at Munchery, we introduce a revised model called pro-to-peer (Pro2P). When it comes to prepared food, we feel this is a much stronger approach than the classic P2P.
There are some critical shortcomings with the P2P model when it comes to prepared food. Since food is not prepared by machineries, it takes meticulous attention to achieve high quality. This is difficult for many people to achieve consistently unless they cook for a living. There’s also health code compliance, which immediately eliminates any kind of prepping and cooking at non-certified kitchens (such as home kitchens). Then there’s the trust issue, which is especially sensitive when it comes to food because it’s literally a product we ingest into our body. Unless it’s cooked by a dear relative or a close friend, or by a professional entity, we will naturally not trust it. That is a gut feeling that we should not ignore.
Thus, we establish the pro-to-peer model. The chefs working with Munchery are independent, professional cooks. Many of these pros are trained at culinary schools. They understand and know how to maintain the best quality and consistency. Yet these professionals are not some remote entities. They live and work in the same communities their customers live and work in. They support the same local and sustainable farms that you and I enjoy shopping from. They pay utmost respect to their customers and the reputation they build; they are always anxious to get feedback from customers after each and every meal served.
Food is personal. In fact, it’s hard to imagine of any other product we use that’s more personal than food. When a chef cooks great food that we love, we instantly feel a connection. You feel the love that’s been put into such great food. On Munchery website, you can reach out and share your feedback to the chef. We want to bring that experience to everyone.
People are used to only two options when it comes to food: 1) cook it themselves, and 2) purchase it from a local restaurant. Munchery enables a 3rd option: Get it from a local professional chef. Whether it’s a single meal for yourself, or having it catered to your office or a private party, there’s a Munchery meal for you. Browse our Munchery website and place an order directly.
“Having food cooked by a personal chef? That’s awesome but is expensive, isn’t it?”, one would often exclaim when we first tell them about Munchery. We are here to change that, in ways that are economically feasible for both chefs and for consumers.
Personal chefs for the rest of us. We hope you give us a try and taste the difference Munchery makes.
It’s always been a pleasure for our Munchery team to bring daily joy to our beloved customers. Something seemingly so simple as great food and outstanding service can bring happiness and squash away one’s hardship for the day, even if just for a short while.
Here at Munchery, we quickly learn from our customers that delivering care and happiness is not bound to geography! We often have customers who don’t live in San Francisco themselves, but bought gift cards for their love ones who do live there, whether for an anniversary or to celebrate the birth of a new baby!
I want to share a recent story that was slightly different.
Earlier in the week, one of our drivers was delivering a few meals to a customer (for confidentiality purposes, I’ll just call her “Elaine”) in the Twin Peaks neighborhood around 5:10pm. As usual, he texted Elaine to alert her that he’d be arriving in a few minutes. Most customers appreciate but don’t reply to these text alerts so there’s nothing unusual there. Nothing was out of the ordinary until our driver rang the door bell and found out that no one was at home.
That’s probably ok. Perhaps Elaine was doing something and couldn’t come to the door. He called and texted Elaine a couple more times and waited a few minutes before ringing the bell again. Still no answer. Our driver then texted and left a voicemail saying he’d be back later after dropping off other deliveries. He did so at 5:50pm and still no one was home and no one responded to either text or phone calls. Our base support team was alerted. We then emailed Elaine to describe the whole situation, urging her to call us back.
No luck. The meals were back in the fridge. I placed another call at 8:30pm and by luck, someone answered! The phone number belongs to “Isabelle” (not her real name), not Elaine! It turns out Isabelle ordered meals for her friend Elaine, whose husband just got out of cancer surgery! I described to Isabelle what happened and asked if she could reach Elaine. She tried with no luck.
I offered to deliver the meals to Isabelle, but she was 3 hours away! After a few more minutes, Isabelle found an alternate person in the city that we could deliver the meals to. This person would help bring the meals to Elaine. We dropped a simple get-well card, signed by our team, and I delivered the meals just before 9pm. The friend shoved $20 as tips to me, but I didn’t accept it. This is the least we can do to help the situation and accepting tip would just be wrong.
Elaine, we don’t have any follow-up, but we sincerely hope your husband has recovered well. Isabelle, you are an amazing friend. You reminded us how important it is to help a friend in need, and we thank you for having us play a small role in that.
Last week, we introduced Munchery VIP, a reward program for our most loyal customers. The feedback for the program has been overwhelming! These are our very best customers and we strongly feel that they deserve a special shout-out for their amazing support of Munchery over the past couple months.
Munchery VIPs enjoy an automatic 10% discount for all orders on munchery.com. When a VIP logs in, he or sheAny review written by a VIP will carry the same designation, so others can know and trust your feedback. See an example below.
That’s not all. Munchery VIPs will enjoy many future benefits including special offers that are simply not available to others. We’ll keep you updated.
So how does a customer become a VIP? Keep ordering and be engaged with our chefs and Munchery with your feedback. It’s currently an invite-only program and we keep a very close eye out for the next set of candidates.