New York-based startup HealthyOut already has a popular iPhone and Android app for quickly finding nearby restaurants and dishes that users can order and have delivered. Today at Disrupt NY 2013, HealthyOut is unveiling a new service, which will provide users with personalized menus of food delivered to help them lose weight or just eat better overall.
Launching first in New York City, HealthyOut’s delivery service is designed to provide users with healthy options two times a day, five days a week. By combing through the menus of restaurants around the city that deliver, HealthyOut will come up with 10 meals a week that can automatically be sent to a customer’s home or office.
Now, there’s no shortage of food delivery services out there. But HealthyOut will make sure that when you’re ordering out, you’re making healthy choices. In fact, it’ll more or less make those decisions for you.
HealthyOut is designed to be “your own personal concierge and nutritionist planning out your meals,” co-founder Wendy Nguyen told me. The idea is to simplify users’ lives by planning meals out for them, and helping them discover new dishes that they might not have ordered for themselves.
“Everyone knows go-to meals around a given spot,” Nguyen told me. “But they don’t know what are the best meals” for healthy eating. HealthyOut solves that problem.
Users can personalize those deliveries based on dietary preferences or requirements. For instance, they can choose from about a dozen different types of diets — like low carb, Paleo, or vegan. They can also set preferences, like types of cuisine or foods that they want to receive (or not), as well as a price range per meal.
Once all that’s done, the program gets put on autopilot, and healthy meals from nearby restaurants will just start showing up to a customer’s home or office a couple of times a day. Users will get a menu at the beginning of the week telling them what’s coming, and a text notification as a reminder about 90 minutes before the delivery.
Customers can cancel or put a meal on hold if they plan to eat out somewhere else or *gasp* cook something themselves. In either case, HealthyOut will make suggestions for things that they can order or cook to keep with their diet plan.
HealthyOut keeps the customer’s billing information, and automatically deducts the cost of food, delivery, and tip from a customer’s account. In addition to the cost of food and delivery, HealthyOut has a subscription cost of $28 per month for managing all diets and orders and keeping people on track.
The service was built based on dish-level information that HealthyOut has collected in building out its iPhone app. So it will be able to suggest (and schedule) specific dishes from restaurants even if they’re not exactly known for being healthy.
HealthyOut has been working with restaurants themselves to build out the service and ensure a high level of quality. It also has partnered with a third-party delivery service for payments and delivery.
In a place like New York, where there are a ton of restaurants that deliver in a small area, it’s easy to find healthy choices. So it makes sense to launch there. But the team wants to take HealthyOut’s delivery service to other markets, and ultimately make it available everywhere. For other cities and even suburban markets, that could mean having a mix of takeout and delivery.
HealthyOut has raised $1.2 million from 500 Startups, Bradley Harrison Ventures, Answers.com COO Peter Horan, AOL’s former head of marketing Jan Brandt, N.Y. restaurateur Dave Kassling, Pivotal NYC managing director Josh Knowles, and other angels. The company was part of Blueprint Health, a health-focused incubator based in New York. HealthyOut was founded by Nguyen, who previously was the second employee of SocialChorus; as well as Dan Myers, who was previously at TSG Consumer Partners, and full-stack Rails developer Jonathan Hironaga, who was also part of the SocialChorus team.
Q: What’s the cost to consumers?
A: It’s $28 a month and the cost of food, which turns out to be less than comparable diet plans.
Q: How do you gather information from the restaurants?
A: We got dish-level menu information, so we have all that data in our app. The way that these orders come through, there are special instructions. If we find a restaurant that aren’t delivering these orders, we’ll stop working with them.
Q: What about private chefs that can post meals? Are you just working with restaurants? What’s the competitive landscape?
A: We use the restaurant supply chain. To get real scale, you need to work with restaurants.
Q: User acquisition strategy?
A: We’re on track to do a million downloads. From there, we use it as a funnel when we enter a new city.
Q: Biggest challenge for restaurants is you have no idea what’s in your food and how it’s prepared.
A: It’s about finding the best dishes in your neighborhood. Took a sample in small markets and compared against nutritionists, and found that we had better data.