When the owner of the highest-grossing independent restaurant in California (Charles Phan of The Slanted Door), the guy who sold his bakery business to Starbucks for a cool $100 million (Pascal Rigo of La Boulange) and the founder of one of food-tech’s most-watched startups (Tri Tran) partner up, it’s pretty much guaranteed that people will pay attention. Which is exactly what Munchery wants surrounding today’s launch of its new service. The chef-driven, pre-made meal delivery company is introducing its new "Ready-To-Cook Meals," which it is billing as the first meal-kit delivery that’s available on demand and without a subscription, unlike similar meal-kit delivery competitors Blue Apron and Plated, which require subscriptions. (It’s a catchy thing to say, except, of course, there’s a catch: it’s on-demand only if you’re in SF-proper; otherwise you set up a delivery time of up to 10 days.)
The service works just like the Munchery that you already know, but it’s slightly more involved — as in, there’s some cooking required. One order is meant to serve two people and comes in a smaller-than-shoebox-sized box packed with every single ingredient you would need to make, say, salmon with caramelized lemon (down to the salt, pepper and cooking oil). Preparation, assembly and cooking take less than 15 minutes. As the brains behind this endeavor, Munchery’s new CCEO (Chief Customer Experience Officer) Pascal Rigo told Eater, "It’s like we’re your sous chef."
In another move, the company’s first chef partner is The Slanted Door’s Charles Phan, so you can order and make dishes like the famous shaking beef at a fraction of the cost of actually going to The Slanted Door and having them cook for you. "It’s quick and nearly fool-proof," Phan told Eater, "It’s about getting the highest return for your money." And at $9 to $12 per serving, this is a steal — for comparison, the same dish costs $38 at the restaurant.
Phan’s food isn’t the only option from this service, but it may be the most compelling to the average diner. The other meal kits will come from Munchery’s chefs and include dishes like chicken casablanca with tomato chickpeas or chicken skewers on artichoke salad. Dessert right now is from Rigo’s La Boulangerie, including the chocolate fondants with strawberry compote. Down the line, Munchery plans to bring on additional well-known bakeries and chefs, as well as expand the service to all of its markets (Los Angeles, Seattle and New York).