How food delivery upstarts are fighting the tyranny of Grubhub

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As restaurants turn to food delivery en masse amid the COVID-19 pandemic, smaller startups are rising up to challenge Big Food Delivery’s supremacy. “The pandemic really just crushed us,” says Sean Li, cofounder of CaterCow , a platform that partners with restaurants to deliver big batch buffet-like food options primarily to offices and event spaces across eight major U.S. cities. When most nonessential businesses shut their doors in mid-March and people started working from their living rooms, Li says he saw his business’s revenue “tank by 98% over the course of the week.” Read Full Story

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See Burger King’s restaurant of the future, where the car is king

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The next Burger Kings will go where few Burger Kings have gone before: the second story. Ask any fast food company, from Taco Bell to McDonald’s, and they will tell you : COVID-19 accelerated everything. While these restaurants knew that drive-throughs and delivery services had been growing, and that digital apps were essential to their future business, shuttered dining rooms catapulted us into that future of fast food overnight. Read Full Story

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When will bars and restaurants reopen? Here are the 12 steps the CDC says businesses should follow

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The CDC has released a road map of sorts for the safe reopening of bars and restaurants. According to a recent Morning Consult poll, only 22% of Americans would feel comfortable eating out at a restaurant in the next month based on what they know today about the coronavirus pandemic. While that is an increase from the 9% who said the same thing in early April, it still indicates that food-service establishments will face significant challenges as states begin to gradually ease their lockdown restrictions. Read Full Story

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How this Los Angeles healthy restaurant chain pivoted to emergency relief

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Everytable opened with a mission of providing healthy meals in L.A.’s food deserts. Now it’s delivering hundreds of thousands of meals to seniors at home and to homeless residents sheltered in hotels. When the L.A. restaurant chain Everytable opened its first café four years ago in a food desert in South Los Angeles , its goal was to find a new way to expand access to healthy food for the city’s lowest-income residents. When the coronavirus crisis hit, its business transformed: While it still sells some takeout and delivery meals, the bulk of its business is now emergency relief. Read Full Story

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Restaurant eating during the pandemic is upending the movement to eliminate single-use plastic

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There’s been a huge increase in takeout. And the CDC is recommending that everything in a restaurant be disposable—even the menus. How will that affect how much waste we generate? With restaurants closed for in-person dining, food delivery—and the waste associated with those take-out orders—has skyrocketed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But even when we can eat out again, single-use plastics will still be prevalent, posing a huge threat to the environment as we revert to a world full of disposables. Read Full Story

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You’re generating so much waste with your food deliveries. What if it came in reusable containers instead?

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Dispatch Goods is a new zero-waste container system for restaurants. Get your food delivered in a metal container. They’ll come pick it up, clean it, and bring it back to the restaurant. On a hike to a remote beach while living in Hawaii five years ago, entrepreneur Lindsey Hoell noticed from a distance that the sand looked colored. “I picked up a handful of it, and it was [full of] microplastics,” she says. “It clicked in my mind that this wasn’t an issue of people littering.” Read Full Story

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Report: Scammers will offer you cheap food delivery on Telegram, then pay for it with stolen credit cards

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Fraudsters are advertising discount food deliveries, which they provide by ordering food from delivery apps using stolen credit cards. Fraudsters are offering discounted restaurant and grocery app deliveries on Telegram forums, then using stolen credit cards to place customer orders and pocketing the difference, according to a report from the fraud prevention company Sift . Read Full Story

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60% of shuttered businesses on Yelp will never reopen

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Close to 164,000 U.S. businesses on the review website closed between the start of the pandemic and August 31. For many, it’s permanent. For seven years—more specifically, from late 2013 until right after the dinner service on March 15—Vinland restaurant in Portland, Maine, served organic, locally sourced, gluten-free food along with biodynamic, wild-fermented, and unfiltered wines. Founder and executive chef David Levi decided to close the doors and say goodbye to his employees, but he retained what he called an “irrational hope” that he’d be able to bounce back. Read Full Story

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Lyft launches ‘Essential Deliveries,’ but it’s not an Uber Eats competitor

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Lyft is recruiting drivers to deliver “meals, groceries, life-sustaining medical supplies, hygiene products and home necessities.” As demand for rides plummets during the coronavirus pandemic, Lyft says it’s now delivering food, medical supplies, and other necessities with a new pilot service called “Essential Deliveries.” And, no, it’s currently not a clone of Uber Eats. Read Full Story

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