If you work at a startup or tech company, one of the perks you’ve probably gotten used to is a free lunch. Those meals have become ubiquitous through a number of tech companies in San Francisco, but too often, there aren’t a lot of healthy options provided. Healthy food delivery startup Zesty wants to change that, with the launch of an office catering program.
Zesty launched an app late last year that provides its customers with healthy food options from nearby restaurants. With a combination of technology and data, as well as the help of an on-staff nutritionist, it was able to create a curated menu of dishes from dozens of restaurants around San Francisco.
By working with the restaurants, it was able to identify healthier choices on their menus and to ensure that dishes were prepared without unnecessary stuff like MSG, salt, or sugar added. That’s been great for customers who wanted to ensure that when they did order out, they’d get something that wouldn’t be horrible for them.
But the Zesty team saw that they could make a bigger impact — and more money — by taking the work that it had already done and applying it to the office catering environment. So it’s launched a new service catering (literally) to corporate customers.
Corporate customers who sign up will get an initial consultation with Zesty’s nutritionist, who will take into account the number of employees, budget per employee, and dietary restrictions. Then, using its database of menu items, will come up with a food plan for the company.
For delivery, rather than relying on its restaurant partners, the company has actually hired a team of “catering captains” to ensure that food and presentation is up to snuff. And it takes feedback on meals via an online form to improve over time.
The key to Zesty’s program is flexibility. According to CEO David Langer, the company will work within pretty much any budget to find a plan that works for each office.
“It’s not more expensive than using other restaurants… we just make smarter choices than they do,” Langer said. “We believe that healthy food doesn’t need to be expensive.”
Zesty has been trialing the program since January, and has already had a number of big-name startups sign up in San Francisco, including companies like Instacart, AngelList, Scribd, and Homejoy, among others. As a result, it’s seen huge growth, with revenues increasing 35 percent week over week since launching the program.
Zesty recently joined Y Combinator, and is part of the current class, which has its demo day next week.