San Francisco-based Kitchit wants to enable anyone to have restaurant-quality food without going out, by creating a marketplace of chefs who cook in customers’ homes. The company has just raised $7.5 million in funding led by Javelin Venture Partners to make its chefs available to more users in more places.
Kitchit’s mission is to make dining at home as easy as going out for a meal at a restaurant. Easier, in fact, when you consider that you don’t have to worry about parking, reservations, or waiting in line at whatever swank-ass place you hope to get into at a moment’s notice.
Instead, Kitchit offers up the ability to search for different chefs who will cook a meal for you, so you don’t have to worry about all the fuss of doing so. You tell the website where you live, when you would like to have your meal, how many people will be in attendance, and it provides a list of menus you can choose from.
The chef then comes to your house, does all the prep and cooking, and even cleans up afterward. As a result, Kitchit was originally pitched as the perfect marketplace for those who like to throw dinner parties but don’t want to worry about all the work that goes into doing so.
Kitchit co-founder Brendan Marshall says about 90 percent of the company’s business comes from parties of 10 or less. And believe it or not, the most common request is a two-person meal, as some folks choose to have date night at home rather than go out. Those meals typically range from $50 to $75 per person, and can even go higher.
But the company hopes to change that with a new offering called Kitchit Tonight. Somewhat riding the wave of instant and on-demand services, the company is offering up “signature meals” available same-day and at a fairly affordable price in San Francisco. Launched last month, Kitchit Tonight costs $39 per person and can be booked as late as 1:00 p.m. for a meal the same night.
The broader Kitchit marketplace is open for business in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But Kitchit Tonight is currently only available in San Francisco proper. The company hopes to expand availability to other markets, which it hopes will open up its potential customer base. It also plans to expand into new cities, which could drive its business even further.
Of course, Kitchit isn’t the only startup that’s seeking to make it easy for users to share home-cooked meals with friends and even strangers. There’s New York City-based Kitchensurfing, which also makes a marketplace of chefs available to users, for instance. And also EatWith, which lets amateur chefs create dinner parties that strangers can sign up to take part in.