San Francisco-based media startup ChefsFeed — a website where thousands of food industry professionals share their profiles, dining tips, and insider concerns — has purchased a leading pop-up dining platform that many of them might already use: Feastly. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Diners in SF, NY, LA, and Chicago use Feastly to book reservations for pop-up dinners, cooking classes, and other culinary events listed directly by chefs. Feastly displays menus, photos, and chef bios, and handles the bookings and payment.
“When we started Feastly, we wanted to empower chefs to do what they want, when they want,” says Feastly founder Noah Karesh, “to rethink the traditional dining model, which puts a lot of stress on people who are creative and popular but don’t necessarily want to focus on the business mechanics.”
Many of San Francisco’s most exciting restaurants, like Sorrel in Pac Heights and the forthcoming Noosh on Fillmore Street, have grown out of Feastly pop-ups. “We’ve been a foundational, almost a farm team for a lot of the new concepts that have emerged,” says Karesh, who counts 200,000 meals served though Feastly since its founding in 2011.
ChefsFeed, an SF company also founded in 2011 and owned by parent company Credible, espouses a similar, power-to-the-chef ethos.
“Our goal, ultimately... is to find ways to get chefs to make more money.” says Credible CEO Rich Maggiotto, “...to build their reputation, and put more butts in seats.”
In the coming months, ChefsFeed, which operates in 60 cities, will expand Feastly from its current markets to more ChefsFeed cities. And in San Francisco, more chefs are likely to pop-up on Feastly. “We’ll bring a lot more chefs onto the [Feastly] platform — all the chefs on ChefsFeed, and vice versa,” says Karesh.
“Working together we’re gonna be able to create something exponentially greater than what we’ve been doing individually,” says Maggiotto.
The Feastly acquisition makes particular sense for ChefsFeed as digital media companies increasingly turn to events, many with corporate sponsors, for revenue. In 2018, brands like Topo Chico, Chefswear, and Whole Foods, partnered with ChefsFeed on branded content and events — essentially advertising directly to food industry professionals. For its part, Feastly already hosts events with sponsors from the James Beard Foundation to San Pellegrino and Stella Artois.