The food-delivery space is hot. In recent weeks, startups such as Munchery, UberEats and GoodMeal have launched in New York City, promising to deliver healthy, tasty meals made with quality ingredients to your door in a matter of minutes. Today Maple, the food delivery startup offers both lunch and dinner, provides three entree choices per meal. These choices change daily (though some dishes may end up on frequent rotation), and always include one vegetarian option. Each meal costs a flat $12 for lunch or $15 for dinner, tax, tip, and delivery included, putting Maple on the very reasonable end of all the delivery services out there. To keep it speedy, Maple partly relies on technology. An app tracks the timing of everything, from cooking to delivering, and maps out the fastest route, factoring in things like traffic and even the time it takes to get to a sixth floor walk-up, and learning as it goes. Deliveries go out in batches from a commissary kitchen with delivery people on either bikes or on foot who follow the route they’re given.
But here’s the big catch: Maple also manages such speedy delivery by limiting the delivery zone to the neighborhood where the kitchen is. For now, that neighborhood is the Financial District, and Maple only delivers below Chambers Street. Eventually the team hopes to expand to other neighborhoods, with a network of satellite kitchens.