If you’re anything like me, the one thing that can turn you from happy go lucky nice guy to inhuman monster faster than Walter White turns into Heisenberg, is being hungry. The point is when I get hungry I don’t like dealing with people. EAT24 is a company that has gone to great lengths to reach consumers like me and satiate our hunger. As entrepreneurs we are all looking for markets to break into and money to make, but making money can never be the sole purpose behind your companies actions. Your company needs an identity, a culture that drives every decision you make as a company. Eat24 is a company with an identity and a culture, and it’s that culture that has lead to their fast growth and success.
Eat24 is an online food delivery service founded by folks that understand people like me. In fact they even have a word for the deep seeded rage that erupts from me like a Kaiju rises from the depths of Pacific, they call it “hangry.” Last week I spoke with the Chief Marketing Officer of Eat24, Amir Eisenstein, and he told me it was the pain in my stomach, not so much the pain in the marketplace, to which his company was focused on subsiding.
“We all worked in the restaurant business for years, so taking care of customers is in our DNA. Unfortunately, it’s not in the DNA of the typical delivery-or-takeout experience. So we fixed it.” -Amir Eisenstein, Eat24
For me, it’s that simple understanding of people that is what makes Eat24 the premier online food delivery service out there. Amir and everyone else with the company flat out get me. That, coupled with their love of food and restaurants have turned a company of 5 people serving the San Francisco bay area, to a company that employs over 150 people and at last count is used by 25,000 restaurants in 1,000 cities. Keep in mind that this growth has happened in just a little over 5 years. I asked Amir about this growth and his answer brought insight into the culture of this startup:
“We love people and we love food. We want to see restaurants succeed. For us it’s not just about getting more restaurants to register for our app, it’s about helping restaurants succeed. If we’re working with a restaurants that doesn’t have a website, we’ll build them a website, on us. If they have a website, but the website doesn’t have online ordering functionality, we’ll build it for them. In the end we’re a company of people and we want to serve people.”
Even the most cynical person out there cannot help but buy in to what the Eat24 claims to be about. During my conversation with Amir, I shared with him that although I’ve used the Eat24 app in other cities, my current hometown doesn’t have any restaurants that use their services. Amir asked for the contact information for some of my favorite local places to eat so I could use the app. I know, it might sound like a lot, but even a long standing cynic like me could see that the culture of Eat24 is about seeing people like me get to enjoy the food we love without hassle.
How Does it Work?
So, how does Eat24 work? It’s ridiculously simple and intuitive, really! Users simply browse restaurants in their area and place their order right through the Eat24 website or app. Users confirm all the final details of their order and confirm the order total before completing checkout, this is a huge value-add for hangry Kaijus like me since I now don’t even have to deal with a person to pay! The order is sent over to the restaurant and they take over from there. They will prepare your food and deliver it, or have it available for pick-up, depending on preference and availability. And, in what is yet another example of their people first mentality, Eat24 will even help with the math and give you the user a “split check” cost per person making ordering a meal to share with friends easy.
For restaurant owners interested in signing up for their services, sign-up is free. Restaurant owners supply their contact information via a form on the Eat24 website and are contacted by a sale representative. Their is no contract that businesses have to agree to and you can cancel at any time. According to their website, once a restaurant signs up they get the following:
* Setup: Free
* Maintenance: Free
* Live Eat24Hours Support: Free
* Web site: Free (optional)
* More Delivery, Pickup and Catering Orders every day
Once the setup is complete, Eat24 will post your menu online according to the information you provide including business days and hours, minimum order, delivery charge and coupons. Eat24 advertises their website online and in the media to customers in your area. Therefor by advertising their services they are also advertising your restaurant. It’s all very Ayn Rand of them when you think about. it. Eat24 claims their website receives more than 1,000,000 hits a month, so restaurants that register with the site should get plenty of exposure via the web. Here is a visual of how the process works
“Our system allows your customers to place their orders ONLINE, issue the orders directly to your restaurant and confirms the orders. All you need to do is deliver and provide good food and great customer service!” – Eat24.com
It’s actually pretty simple. All of the ordering goes through Eat24 and they charge a “small commission” for every order they process.
(B)eating out The Competition
Eat24 knows they’re not the only company competing for the hearts and minds of the hungry lazy Chris Placks of the world. I asked Amir what sets them apart from their competition, such as GrubHub and Seamless. His answer was as easy and straightforward as the user interface of the company’s website and app:
“Look, all of these apps and services you mentioned attract the same type of person. All of us [food delivery apps and services] cater to the same types of restaurants. The market is pretty much set. The trick to getting ahead of our competition is customer service.” Our customers can reach us 24-7 via chat or phone. We do whatever we can to help our customers and that is what has brought us to where we are today. 5 year ago when the company was founded, we only dreamed of having the success we are enjoying today, but it all comes back to the culture of serving and loving people.”
I know it’s easy for any company to say that their customer service comes first, it’s a saying that is tried and true and as cliche as it comes. But when you take a close look at how Eat24 is built as a company; people that have service and food in their DNA that believe getting food when you’re hungry should be quick and painless, and then you see how that belief is carried out in the intuitive style and ease of use of their app and website, you see in Eat24 a company that is living out the culture, 24-7.
I know that this piece on Eat24 is about as puffy as a cronut, but you can rest assured knowing that I always go out of my way to find the truth behind what a company has to say about itself, and from every indication Eat24 is a company that is living a culture that is about the people they serve. This was most apparent to me when I asked Amir about their “social media strategy” and how they “incorporated social media use into their business model. His answer made so much sense I was embarrassed I even asked the question:
“Yes we’re on social media because we employ people, and people are on social media. We serve people and people are on social media. We don’t approach our day thinking “what can we tweet about today?” or “how many Facebook posts should be have today?’ We tweet when something comes up that is worth tweeting about. We post when there’s something to post about. If someone gives us a shoutout on Twitter or Instagram, we make sure to respond, it’s all organic.”
Of course it is, which is what businesses should strive for. Be real. Be honest. If you have thoughts you would like to share with me about Eat24 you can hit me up on Twitter at @cplack or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.