Ordering a ton of takeout lately? You're not alone. Feeling guilty about the high costs local restaurants must swallow when offering delivery and concerned about the sustainability of this most beloved industry? Yeah, us too.
That's why, when the news broke that a more restaurant-friendly delivery service was rolling around the Bay Area, we were ready to eat it up—but it sounded too good to be true. But wait, it's true! And also really good. Get ready to Feastin.
Order up meal kits from Feastin as well as prepared restaurant meals.(Hannah Wagner)
A timely, much-needed project dreamed up by the owners (Sebastiaan van de Rijt, Hannah Wagner, and Michael Risse) of the local Asian-fusion mini-chain Bamboo Asia, Feastin is a direct response to tandem needs: to support Bay Area restaurants and food purveyors during a time of crisis, and to keep us all well fed at home without having to get out too much.
The schtick? Participating restaurants and suppliers earn 100 percent of their sales. In other words, when you drop $98 for Pinoy Heritage's At-Home Experience on Feastin, Pinoy Heritage pockets 98 bucks, as opposed to the $70 or so it might receive from other mainstream delivery platforms. How? We're glad you asked.
Put simply, you will see a 20 percent fee at checkout that covers Feastin's operating costs, delivery, tax, and tip. Don't scoff—you're already paying extra for delivery via the most popular platforms thanks to tacked-on surcharges. The difference here is that Feastin isn't taking a commission from the restaurants. Feastin's practices are also more efficient and worker-friendly: They're keeping their team lean, with just the three founders plus four full-time drivers who are making the rounds Bay Area–wide.
Mm hmm, that's right: If you live in Oakland and you're craving a tasting menu from San Francisco's Atelier Crenn, you can order it up on Feastin. City dweller craving a seafood boil from The Town's Alamar? It's on it's way to your door.
Feastin's founded team—Michael Risse, Hannah Wagner, and Sebastiaan van de Rijt—call themselves "tech-focused restaurant owners by trade and changemakers at heart."(Courtesy of Feastin)
"We challenged ourselves to create a better solution for our restaurant community and customers," says cofounder Hannah Wagner, who points out that while about 20 percent of Bamboo Asia's own revenue comes through delivery, the 80 percent of earnings traditionally gained through dining in is now totally lost due to Covid-19. So, the strategy is to "increase our sales potential by expanding our delivery reach Bay Area wide, by creating our own delivery platform. We wanted to make this service available for free to restaurants and food purveyors who are also struggling right now."
In addition to offering prepared meals from some of the Bay Area's favorite restaurants (hey, Che Fico, Palette Tea House, and Presidio Social Club!), Feastin is also stocked with a wide range of pantry staples, meal kits, fresh groceries, and booze. By becoming a one-stop food shop, Feastin is able not just to support the restaurants but also the larger industry and supply chain.
"Restaurant purveyors and farmers are also part of the food maker eco-system suffering during Covid, so Feastin is opening up new direct-to-consumer opportunities for local purveyors who, prior to Covid, only focused on delivering fresh ingredients to restaurants." And since the platform is also not charging commissions to purveyors, customers who buy groceries from Feastin could save as much as 70 percent compared to shopping at Safeway, Wagner says.
As with all things that seem to good to be true, Feastin does come with a small hitch to your giddy-up: You'll have to place your order two days in advance. But wait, this is also kind of a good thing, as the slightly delayed ordering system allows the team to source all of the ingredients and meals fresh, a day before delivery: "With our two-day delivery model, deliveries can be routed five times more efficiently than traditional on-demand models. It doesn't just allow Feastin to cover its operating costs, it enables us to use full-time, food-handler-certified employees for all deliveries versus relying on gig workers," Wagner says.
With a little personal planning, Feastin just might replace your weekly Instacart delivery plus a few nightly takeout dinners through one consolidated purchase that also puts the dollars in the pockets of the businesses we so dearly love. You can order now at feastin.com.
PS: If you are a restaurant interested in joining Feastin, you can apply to firstname.lastname@example.org to apply. New partners are accepted monthly.
Fresh groceries are also available via Feastin.(Hannah Wagner)