What set it apart from startups like Postmates, as well as major incumbents like Seamless and Grubhub, is a commitment to serving up only healthy options for its hungry customers. But back then the mobile-first healthy food service was only in beta.
Now, the company is willing to take the wraps off its service, with a brand-new version of its app, as well as a new name. So here comes Zesty, which is officially launching to bring healthy meals to San Franciscans.
So first, what makes Zesty different? It works with a curated group of restaurants from around San Francisco — about 35 today — that make deliveries already to customers. That’s not so different from Seamless and Grubhub, which mostly provide a new funnel of customers to restaurants that had already done their own takeout and delivery.
But where Zesty differentiates is not only by being ultra-selective about the restaurants that are available on the app — making sure, for instance, that they have Yelp ratings of 3.5 stars or more and are able to deliver in less than an hour — but working with them to create a curated group of healthy menu options.
The startup has a nutritionist on staff that meets with restaurants, checks out their menu, and then finds ways to ensure that the food they make for Zesty customers follows a number of requirements. There’s no MSG or added sugar or salt for items that are ordered from the app. Sauces and dressings are delivered on the side. In addition, menu items are broken out to fit certain dietary restrictions, such as paleo, gluten-free, or vegan.
In that way, Zesty is able to convert your local Chinese joint into a haven for healthy food options. For users, that means having the ability to order essentially anything on the app, knowing that it’s not going to kill them or make them fat, and filter out options that might not fit their particular diet profile.
The app includes detailed dietary info on all of the menu items available, including calorie count listed along with a photo of all dishes so customers know exactly what they’re ordering. There are also ratings and reviews for users to evaluate different dishes, as well as to help Zesty figure out which dishes and restaurants are best, so it can continue to improve its menu.
Zesty was founded by David Langer and Chris Hollindale, a couple of Oxford grads now in San Francisco. Langer had previously founded GroupSpaces, a UK-based membership software company backed by Index Ventures. Advisors include Tim Van Damme and Heyzap’s Jude Gomila.
The app is available now for healthy eaters in San Francisco.