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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dinner-On-Demand Delivery Services Keep Expanding in S.F.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Lunch at Sprig.
  • Lunch at Sprig.

San Francisco's food delivery options, like its late-night restaurants, often leave something to be desired. A few months back I wrote about the crop of new services that all promised to "disrupt" restaurant delivery in one way or another. The most intriguing of these were delivery-only restaurants like Sprig and Spoonrocket, which offer a short daily menu you can browse on your smartphone, order with a few taps, and then have a hot, balanced meal at your door literally within minutes.

See also: Filler App: How Tech Companies Are Disrupting Restaurant Delivery

I found Sprig, helmed by ex-Google chef Nate Keller, to be the better of the two -- the food's more interesting and varied, though it's a few dollars more than Spoonrocket ($10 versus $8). The company recently announced that it's now serving lunch to SOMA, Mission Bay, and Dogpatch, where it will try to win the appetites of office workers. It seems like it might: Today's menu includes a turkey sandwich with arugula, avocado, and pine nut pesto aioli on Dutch Crunch, a tuna tataki salad with honey-tamari vinaigrette, and a Mediterranean veggie wrap with grilled eggplant and portobello mushrooms, feta, and lemon hummus.

This expansion into lunch puts Sprig in direct competition with Spoonrocket, an East Bay-based service that's been trying to crack into the S.F. market for a few months. It's now delivering daily changing dishes like lasagna, slow-cooked pork, stir fry, enchiladas, and other homey items most of the city -- only for lunch now, but that is almost certain to change in the coming months.

Only one can be crowned the "Uber of Food." Unless a third upstart comes in and disrupts the whole thing again. Caviar, a service that delivers from high-quality city restaurants for a $9.99 flat fee, just announced it's raised $13 million in funding. Caviar serves a slightly different purpose -- it's better for groups than singles -- and plans to use its money to expand into other cities, but it's still another startup trying to get into the delivery business. Hopefully, someone will crack the code.

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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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