A new restaurant delivery service launches today in Miami.
The service, named Caviar, offers food delivery from restaurants via smartphone or computer for a set price. Before you dismiss this as something you've seen before, understand that there are a few notable differences that make Caviar poised to be a leader in the home delivery marketplace — mainly the restaurants that are participating in the service.
First off, Caviar is a part of Square, the company that simplified the acceptance of credit cards for small businesses, including independent restaurants, food trucks, and green market vendors who would normally have to accept cash only, risking the loss of sales. The company launched Caviar in 2012, and since then it's expanded into several major cities like Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Washington D.C. That allows it to court restaurants that are already familiar with its services, including smaller, boutique restaurants like Blue Collar, Ms. Cheezious, Viva Mexico y Algo Mas, Loba, and Fireman Derek's to name a few.
That's played a factor in some restaurateurs jumping on board, like Danny Serfer, who says, "I’ve always wanted Blue Collar to offer delivery, and many of our guests have requested it repeatedly. Until we linked up with Caviar, we never felt there was an option to deliver our food with the proper attention to service it deserves."
The other advantage to using Caviar is that diners can order meals up to a week in advance. So, if you have food OCD and know exactly what you're eating for the next week, you can plan your meals accordingly. A more practical application would likely be for business owners who can set up a lunch meeting in advance or people planning get-togethers. The service also allows several users to share a cart, so office workers can all input their orders from, say, Ms. Cheezious without the typical annoying "who wants what" discussion that takes up time. You can also pre-order your lunch before the restaurant opens for business, so if you're jonesing for Proof's oxtail pizza at 10 a.m., you can make sure it's waiting for you at 1 p.m. and spend the rest of the morning dreaming about that first slice.
Once ordered, you can track your order and food courier on a map via GPS, so you'll know if your Corben is stuck on Biscayne Boulevard traffic.
The Caviar website is easy to use and show pictures of each restaurant's offerings, including a description of each dish. A warning, though. Not every dish on a restaurant's menu is offered through the service (for instance, Blue Collar's burgers and Big Ragout were among the missing from the delivery menu), but, again, there's a pretty good selection for a launch.
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Of course, nothing's perfect. Like most delivery apps, Caviar charges a fee. The charge is a flat $4.99 per order, no matter how large or small, and right now, the service is only available in the most central part of Miami-Dade. A coverage map shows that the service is available from Brickell to Miami Shores on the east side of town and is not available on the Beach, although the coverage area will expand in the coming months. Plus, there are only 15 restaurants participating at this time, however, it's a good representation of some of Miami's most delicious offerings.
If you're hungry and in that delivery zone, it pays to try Caviar at least once. The company is offering free delivery to all first-time Miami customers, starting today. To order online, download the app or visit trycaviar.com.