Momofuku joins Goldbelly as delivery service sees Covid pandemic boom

first_imgGoldbelly founder and CEO Joe ArielSource: Goldbelly Like DoorDash and Grubhub, Goldbelly is one of the beneficiaries of the abrupt shift in behavior. It’s almost doubled its restaurant and customer count on its website this year, with establishments like Shake Shack, the burger chain founded by Meyer, joining its ranks. Including Momofuku, the company has nearly 700 restaurants listed on its marketplace.“Many partners who were interested but somewhat reluctant have now embraced giving the platform a chance and said to us that they couldn’t believe they hadn’t done it sooner,” Ariel said.‘Gravy seals’ hunt for regional cravesBut Goldbelly also has some key differences from the third-party delivery apps that work with local restaurants. It ships food items anywhere in the country, rather than being bound by a two- or three-mile radius. Restaurants have the freedom to fulfill their orders during lulls, like mid-afternoon or at midnight, when the kitchen is closed to takeout and delivery customers.- Advertisement – The company also works with the restaurants to decide on the price that the consumer pays, which ultimately includes the platform’s transaction fees and the hefty expense of overnight shipping the food anywhere in the country. The food can come frozen, already assembled or as parts of a meal kit to cook the dish easily.A more frequent treatUltimately, the New York bagels or Philadelphia cheesesteaks will cost more than if a customer bought them in person. But the service is for consumers who find themselves far flung from the comfort food they want to eat. And as the current crisis restricts travel and some consumers decamp to the suburbs, they are willing to pay the premium price. The service has also transitioned from being used for special occasions to something sought out more frequently.“As the world has changed, it’s become much more of a weekly and monthly event,” Ariel said.The fourth quarter is typically Goldbelly’s busiest time of the year, thanks to the holidays, according to Ariel. The approach of Thanksgiving means an influx of orders for pies, specialty side dishes and turduckens.“This year, it’s going to be a different level because people aren’t traveling to see their families,” Ariel said.Goldbelly customers are buying multiple items to ship to different people, creating their own virtual Thanksgiving dinners via Zoom. Corporate employers are looking to give their workers and clients Goldbelly’s meal kits and virtual cooking classes in place of in-person office parties.Of course, the pandemic is also introducing new challenges to Goldbelly. Vaccine makers are worried about potential delays in their rollouts due to a shortage of dry ice. Goldbelly’s merchants use the solid form of carbon dioxide for shipping some of their items, like ice cream, across the country overnight.Goldbelly has an entire department devoted to brainstorming how to keep food items frozen — or at least cold — before they arrive to customers.“It’s something we’re keeping our eyes opened for, but we have a few different approaches to attacking that before it becomes more of an issue,” Ariel said, adding that the majority of Goldbelly orders do not use dry ice.For Goldbelly and the rest of the world, a vaccine also means a return to traveling, dining inside restaurants and all of the other occasions that were abandoned during the pandemic. But Ariel thinks that consumers will continue to order from Goldbelly as frequently as they are now.“We believe that the nationwide delivery of your favorite foods is going to continue to be a value proposition that’s really exciting for a lot of people, especially those that experienced it and made a deeper emotional connection with our brand and the platform during this time,” Ariel said. – Advertisement – And it’s the restaurants, rather than Goldbelly, that are responsible for creating and shipping their food items. The business model means that Goldbelly is profitable, according to Ariel.But eateries also benefit from joining the e-commerce site. Ariel said that some restaurants are seeing higher sales volumes on Goldbelly than from their dining rooms before the pandemic.The pandemic introduced another facet to the Goldbelly experience: live cooking classes with famous chefs like Daniel Boulud. The classes are free with the purchase of the related meal kit.Goldbelly uses a team of scouts, internally known as the “gravy seals,” to scour the country and social media for restaurants beloved by their customers or offering unique regional specialties. Eateries on the platform run the gamut from nationally known establishments to mom-and-pop restaurants.center_img – Advertisement – Goldbelly is adding chef David Chang’s Momofuku to its national delivery service as the coronavirus pandemic drives customers and restaurants to the e-commerce site in droves.CEO Joe Ariel founded Goldbelly in 2013, when he was living in New York City and couldn’t find a local restaurant to meet his hankering for Nashville hot chicken or Southern-style biscuits. It’s since raised more than $33 million in funding, and its latest round@m, in 2018, was led by restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments.Prior to the pandemic, Goldbelly was adding restaurants to the platform at a steady clip. But as lockdowns went into place across the United States, eateries that had previously eschewed delivery services and takeout had to pivot.- Advertisement – Customers dine at Momofuku’s outdoor seating in the East Village as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 26, 2020 in New York City.Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Imageslast_img read more


Amid Hong Kong convulsion, Taiwan pitches investors its democracy

first_imgThe commission has been pushing financial reform to attract money and talent from around the region, and to bring Taiwan’s financial system in line with international standards, he said.”Our main aim is not to replace any particular region or city,” Huang added, when asked if China’s new national security law for Hong Kong was an opportunity for Taiwan to supplant the city as Asia’s financial center.”We hope to attract not only people or funds from one place. We hope to make Taiwan’s market even more competitive, so it becomes a financial market that gets more attention in Asia.”Chinese-claimed and democratic Taiwan has condemned the new law, and anti-government protesters in the former British colony have won widespread and cross-party support on the island. Amid political turmoil in financial hub Hong Kong, Taiwan is pitching investors its democracy, rule of law and high quality of life as the island aims to draw more foreign money and talent, Taiwan’s top financial regulator said on Wednesday.Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Huang Tien-mu told Reuters it has been in discussions with foreign financial institutions about increasing their investments and operations in Taiwan, and have had “positive reactions” from not only Hong Kong but also the United States and other countries.”This has been ongoing. It’s not only aimed at Hong Kong,” Huang said in his first interview with foreign media since being appointed to the post in late May. Topics :center_img Taiwan opened an office this month to help people fleeing Hong Kong after China imposed the security law on the city, with a senior minister saying at the time Taiwan hoped to seize the opportunity to attract professionals and capital from the city.But Huang, 61, said problems include Taiwan’s more complex tax system, lower salaries, lack of wide usage of English and financial regulations that may be relatively liberal but are not as free as other parts of the world.”In the short term, this is perhaps not something we can be like others with,” added Huang, who started his career in Taiwan’s Finance Ministry and has a doctorate from the University of Southern California.”But Taiwan has its attractions. Our democratic system, rule of law that is transparent,” Huang said, pointing to its freedom of speech, ability to elect its own leaders and even legalizing of same-sex marriage.”I’ve been to many international meetings, and I feel that everyone likes Taiwan – they feel very relaxed when they come here.” last_img read more


Bolt headlines Jamaica’s World Championship team

first_imgKingston, Jamaica | AFP | Sprint superstar Usain Bolt is one of three Rio Olympic gold medalists leading a 59-strong Jamaican team named Monday for next month’s athletics World Championships in London.Bolt has said he intends to run the 100m and the 4x100m relay at the worlds, his final event before retiring.He’s one of two reigning world champions, along with sprint hurdler Danielle Williams, who will be defending titles they won in China two years go. Elaine Thompson, who won the Olympic Sprint double last year in Rio, and Omar McLeod — the first man for the Caribbean island to win Olympic 110m hurdles gold — are also in the team published by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.The team also includes sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment, shot putter O’Dayne Richards and 400m runner Shericka Jackson — all individual medalists in Beijing two years ago.Fedrick Dacres, the second ranked male discus thrower in the world, will attend his second World Championships.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more


Florida Deploys 3 Field Hospitals, Medical Supplies to Fight COVID-19

first_imgFlorida health officials have announced they are deploying three field hospitals across the state in order to fight the coronavirus.Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz said Tuesday night via email that one field hospital is currently being staged in Orlando, while the other two are being sent to Broward County and Ocala.The news comes as the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Florida rises to 314 cases, with six deaths reported.The third field hospital will be set up in Ocala, north of Orlando, and moved elsewhere as needed.Mobile COVID-19 testing is also being implemented in Broward, and the National Guard has been deployed to assist there.Moskowitz added that he is working with federal officials to determine whether the state can add U.S. Navy Mercy-class hospital ships at Florida’s ports.State officials also said they are responding quickly to cases being reported at assisted living communities in an attempt to prevent an outbreak similar to one that occurred at a Seattle-area nursing home, which has been linked to more than two dozen COVID-19 deaths.“If a cluster of confirmed cases were to be discovered in Florida, the department would move quickly to engage with and isolate any infected individuals to prevent further spread,” said Alberto Moscoso, the state health department’s spokesman.last_img read more