Team Name: Budeli
Concept: We are a property tech amenity that provides free food delivery for tenants in higher end residential apartments
Challenge: Food delivery is too expensive. At the same time, the one-to-one food delivery model creates a system that underserves both delivery drivers and restaurants alike. The average delivery from one of the well-known third-party delivery services (UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub) normally charges 60% on top of the cost of the delivery when considering delivery fees, service charges, higher priced menu items, and a reasonable tip for the driver. Despite a market jump in food delivery during the pandemic to $42 billion a year, the price of delivery hasn’t decreased despite heightened demand (in fact, most have observed that the overall prices have increased to make the delivery ecosystem more sustainable to all players). With an increase in demand, we found a solution to leverage the unit economics of delivery to eliminate those high additional fees.
Solution: Through a proprietary carpooling model, we address all of these problems at once while cutting fees, tipping, and costly surcharges entirely. What we are providing as a solution is a property tech amenity that provides free food delivery for tenants in residential apartments. Property managers and building owners pay a subscription to our service, and everyday we’ll send 3-4 different restaurants to deliver to all the residents who place orders for lunch or dinner. Tenants pay for the cost of the food, and nothing else. When the food arrives at one’s building, it’s placed on a centrally located Budeli shelving unit where it’s ready for pick-up.
The tenants of the building will see the restaurant options associated with their building for that day, and these options rotate daily. They’ll place their order by the stated cut-off time for lunch or dinner via Budeli’s website or mobile app, and all the tenants will have their food delivered at the delivery time to a shelving unit located in the building’s lobby or tenant center. As an example, as opposed to one restaurant/driver dropping off one order 20 times, they’ll drop off 20 meals at one time. Consolidating the orders eliminates the hefty service charges, allows the drivers to make more money, and allows the restaurants to have higher profit margins on the food they make. Likewise, property managers can use this as a value-add amenity to help differentiate their property.
The Market: The market has jumped during the pandemic from $25 billion to $42 billion a year. What was once a novelty treat has now become more ingrained into our food consumption culture. The majority of food delivery consumers are aged 15 – 40 years old. With a focus on this younger market, we look to provide a service to those living in mid- to high-rise residential apartments with only a few dining options within walking distance. Through our customer verification process, we surveyed over 100+ consumers of food delivery, and found that over 85% would sacrifice options and “on-demand” of their delivery options in favor of saving money on charges and tips. On the primary revenue generation side (property managers paying the service subscription), our customer verification has found that mid- to high- rise apartments are in “a war over amenities” to differentiate themselves at the top of the market.
Competition: Other food delivery services will compete in an adjacent space, but no one is leveraging a unit economics model to eliminate all fees through carpooling to a singular location. The UberEats and DoorDashes of the world are predicated on providing on-demand service, which is conducive to neither a carpooling model nor a timely transition to one. We wouldn’t position ourselves as a 3rd party food delivery service, but rather a property tech amenity that provides food delivery to apartment tenants that saves both money and the environment.
Value Creation: We already have customer traction. Three buildings have agreed to be paid subscribers for our upcoming summer launch of the Budeli pilot, and we have 5 other buildings who will launch following the pilot itself. The properties will be the bulk of our revenue, and the price to subscribe is starting at $500 a month.
As for social and environmental impact, that will be a key differentiator from our service to other 3rd party delivery options. Our main value proposition will be the environmental sustainability of this delivery option (simply put: our service will deliver 20-meals by 1 driver, as opposed to 20-meals delivered by 20 drivers). From a social perspective, this is a sustainable approach to the food delivery ecosystem. Drivers will be paid a higher one-time fee for delivering in bulk, and restaurants will be charged a 15% margin on the food (which is about 10-20% lower than the larger players in this space, giving restaurants greater profitability during these hard times within the food industry).
The Team: There are three co-founders in total, and we incorporated as a Delaware C-Corp in 2021.
Carlos Bello (CEO): Former fine-dining chef (professionally trained at International Culinary Center) turned strategist in the food delivery space. Worked on the strategy team at Foodsby (a food delivery company for commercial real estate buildings), and has one more semester for his MBA at Georgetown. Will be working fulltime upon graduation at the end of this semester.
Thornton Ellis (CTO): Spent last 5-years working as a software engineer at Drizzly (recently acquired by Uber). Will be working fulltime come this summer when both co-founders graduate MBA program.
Jinsung Bach (CFO): Spent years after graduating Dartmouth working at Banc of California. Has built out the profitability model for Budeli, so that we’re profitable from day one. Will be working fulltime upon graduation at the end of this semester.
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