As students at Michigan State University, Alex Badalyn and Chad Whitaker were tired of eating out for every meal, but still needed food that was quick, healthy and affordable. Unable to find a service that could satisfy, the pair placed their idea on the back burner until they made the move down south. Demand Food, their healthy food delivery service, finally came to life in 2014 in Austin, Texas.
By Sara Donovan
Photos by Paula Horstman
Customers can search the menu, order their food and track its delivery through the Demand Food application. The app displays the company’s menu, which rotates daily and offers lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday. The menu includes multiple entrees, sides and pressed juices. Demand Food always has one vegetarian or vegan option on the menu as well.
According to Badalyn, the company’s chefs are given lots of freedom to experiment with and prepare meals every day in the Demand Food kitchen, cooking up a variety of dishes for a flat $10 rate. This includes the meal, tax and tip, and the delivery is always free. On what the company believes the customers find attractive about Demand Food, “First thing is the price,” Badalyn says. “The second thing is that they realize how good quality of a meal it is. Third, which they don’t realize until they actually order, is the delivery speed.”
The company’s average delivery time is 11 minutes. Badalyn and Whitaker understand that customers need to continue on with their lives, so serving them fast is a priority. For a hungry customer, speedy deliveries mean less time waiting and more time to eat.
For Austinites in a hurry, on a budget, eating healthy or all of the above, Demand Food is a service that fits the bill. ORANGE decided to put the app up to the test — the one test I was actually excited to take.
Using the app, I ordered the “Creamy Cilantro-Lime Chicken,” an entree featured on that day’s menu. Quickly after placing my order, I received a text that allowed me to track the delivery. As per their estimation, I received my meal in less than 11 minutes. After picking up my food from the driver, who I met curbside, I heated up my meal as instructed. Once my microwave beeped, I pulled the dish out and began digging in. (Fair warning: if your hunger drives you impatient, much like mine does, expect the container and food to be piping hot.)
I first tried the chicken, which was both moist and tender. The cream sauce covering the dish was not too overbearing. Next, I tried the first of my sides — the black beans. I was pleasantly surprised to discover them mixed with fire-roasted tomatoes. Lastly, I ate the brown rice. The rice served as a perfect food to compliment the chicken and beans.
I took my empty food container as a sign that I might have been a little too excited to eat a meal I didn’t have to cook for myself. I also enjoyed how my Demand Food meal arrived quickly, was easy to prepare and left my belly full and content.
Overall, my experience with Demand Food is one I would rate highly. Not only was the food great, but the service was fantastic as well. This company would be the perfect fit into the life of any health-conscious college student who seeks a smart deal and is constantly on the go.