It's lunchtime, but the only bites in your cubicle are a half-eaten bag of chips and leftovers from last week's lunch meeting. There's not enough time to munch at that new salad place five blocks down, so you order from the take-out place across the street. The folks at Eat Inn, a new web-based food delivery company in Miami, say no more to that.
Eat Inn makes eating healthy easy. Focused on convenience and all-natural, preservative-free food, Miami's latest food delivery company is transforming lunchtime diets city-wide one delivery at a time.
"Eat Inn was born from a passion of wanting to eat healthy, but not wanting to plan it out in advance or have to go far to get it," Victor Verdeja says, co-founder of Eat Inn. "When you're hungry, you want food now. We want to make it simple for people to eat healthy fast."
Verdeja, along with his co-founder Roberto Arán, launched the company in late June. They service Brickell and the University of Miami campus for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. "There're other delivery services out there," Arán says. "But they just deliver food from other places. We do it all."
To make the process as seamless as possible, hungry users can order lunch online in advance, and specify a delivery time, or in real-time. When Eat Inn is a few minutes away, they will text the user and wait at a designated location with a blue-colored balloon. Payment is done online and delivery is free, making the transaction quick and easy. The average delivery time is about 10 minutes, but during the height of lunch rush can range to about 15 minutes.
"There's a lot in the word 'simple,' " Arán says. "It needs to be fast and delicious. It needs to be beautiful as well. People have to want to eat it."
Mia Castro, the executive chef at Eat Inn and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, creates all Eat Inn recipes and meals herself. The only parameter Verdeja and Arán gave her was to cook with whole foods, without any long-labeled ingredients."Mia set the menu, and now we're tweaking it based on customer interactions," Arán says. "But everything is made with whole foods, with proteins and vegetables too."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
There are VeegInn meals for meat-less users, and InnSaladas, with chicken, shrimp, and steak. Get creative with a Build Your Own option, where users can choose a protein, two sides, and one sauce. They also offer "InnDulgences," including chocolate pecan truffles and arroz con leche. There are weekly specials too, with different menu items offered throughout the week inspired by what's on Mia's mind coupled with what's in season.
Most of Eat Inn's menu is gluten and dairy-free, and many of its offerings are vegan- and paleo-friendly too.
"The reality is if the food isn't delicious, people aren't going to eat healthy," Verdeja says. "Mia's done an absolutely amazing job at making sure the food is delicious."
To cook the food, the company rents out a commercial kitchen in Brickell, where Mia and two other chefs hand-make every meal. She cooks throughout the day, replenishing menu items to ensure every meal's freshness and taste. Depending on the day and business, they do experience sell-outs of certain offerings. "We're doing predictive modeling right now "Sometimes we have a lot more orders than we expect," Arán says. "But with time, as we get more data, we will be able to better predict tomorrow's demands better."
On average, Eat Inn receives between 70-80 orders a day, within its three-hour service window. As they continue to grow and expand to dinner, they expect to increase daily orders.
For now, Verdeja and Arán are focused on listening to their customers. "We want to grow as a company and as individuals," Verdeja says.
"We're trying to focus on a balance between staying open for dinner and expanding our service locations," Arán adds. "Coral Gables and South Beach are probably our front runners for now."
For more information and to place an order, visit www.eatinn.co.
Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.