Everyone has experienced the problem when using food delivery apps and your food is delivered in flimsy plastic containers, lukewarm, slightly squashed from rough handling and not up to your gourmet standards. FOOD-E aims to combat this problem with high-quality delivery and packaging, ensuring that even when dining at home, the food is aesthetically pleasing, fresh and of restaurant quality. With FOOD-E you don’t have to sacrifice quality of food or service when ordering online.
How is FOOD-E different to other delivery services?
As Japan’s first gourmet-only food delivery service, FOOD-E offers a specially curated selection of fine dining restaurants throughout Tokyo. CEO Seth Sulkin tells Metropolis how they “are helping high-quality restaurants, who have never had the opportunity to deliver before, to survive, and also giving consumers access to these restaurants for the first time.”
‘I thought there’s a business opportunity here: I can save my favorite restaurants and create a business out of it’
In May 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, FOOD-E was founded. Sulkin, who has an extensive background in the Japanese hotel industry, had been working from home, going out for food once or twice a day, and talking to restaurant owners about how their business was going. Sulkin tells Metropolis that “initially I wasn’t intending to start a business but what I learned is that takeout is not a sizable business and good restaurants generally don’t do delivery because the commissions charged by major delivery apps are way too high and they didn’t like the quality of the delivery. After being told the same story 20 or 30 times, I thought there’s a business opportunity here: I can save my favorite restaurants and create a business out of it.” Thus, seeing a gap in the market for fine dining food delivery during the pandemic, FOOD-E was born.
How does FOOD-E deliver the fine dining experience to you?
FOOD-E focuses on high-quality delivery, presentation and packaging, bringing fine dining directly to your home. Working exclusively with fine dining restaurants from Nobu Tokyo to Elio Locanda Italiana, FOOD-E enables you to experience the restaurant ambience at home through beautifully created and delivered dishes, accompanied by detailed photos of the dishes and physical restaurant space on the website. Sulkin explains that their “goal is to take high-quality photos of the food that are so good that they make you hungry and want to order it immediately.” The photos are indeed mouth-wateringly good.
FOOD-E emphasizes premium customer experience from beginning to end, through the sleek website to careful production of the dishes and meticulous delivery by full-time professional drivers in uniforms. Sulkin explains how “the quality of delivery makes customers and restaurants alike happy,” as many fine dining restaurants are deterred from joining delivery apps that might compromise the quality and appearance of their food. Thus, by emphasizing the importance of packaging and presentation, FOOD-E ensures you get the same visual impact of dishes that you would at the restaurants themselves, while protecting the brand of the premium restaurants it works with.
From a relaxing midday lunch at the office to a picnic with friends in a park or a dinner party at home, customers can enjoy fine dining anywhere they choose using FOOD-E.
With an average 10 minute delivery time, dishes are served hot or cold exactly as envisioned by the chefs who created them. Moreover, FOOD-E aims to create and deliver food within an hour, beating all competitors in providing a fine dining experience when you want it rather than needing to order in advance. From a relaxing midday lunch at the office to a picnic with friends in a park or a dinner party at home, customers can enjoy fine dining anywhere they choose using FOOD-E.
The company reduces its carbon footprint by using bicycles for deliveries up to 1km away and energy-friendly motorcycles.
FOOD-E is committed to ethical and sustainable food deliveries, using environmentally-friendly food containers and operating under an opt-in only policy for disposable cutlery. Working with many restaurants which have a zero-plastic policy, FOOD-E works innovatively to minimise the use of plastics by using natural materials where possible and insulating the FOOD-E bags with thermal bags inside. The company reduces its carbon footprint by using bicycles for deliveries up to one kilometer away and energy-friendly motorcycles. Next year, FOOD-E hopes to introduce electric motorcycles.
The website currently serves a five kilometer radius from Nishiazabu, delivering to areas in Minato-ku, Shibuya-ku, Meguro-ku, Shinagawa-ku, Chuo-ku and Shinjuku-ku. Next year FOOD-E plans to expand further West into Nihonbashi and Shinjuku-ku, and launch in Yokohama by late next year. Sulkin envisions expanding into the major cities in Kansai in the next few years and then either into other cities in Japan or other countries in East Asia, all the while maintaining the high caliber of restaurants it strives for.