With widespread shutdowns in effect, one area startup has altered its business model to keep itself online and operational — and to keep chefs employed, to boot.
Chefit, a South Florida-based food startup, launched in 2018 as a platform that marketed personal chefs to clients willing to pay for restaurant-quality meals prepared in their own home kitchen for the same price as dining out. With the coronavirus pandemic, Chefit has pivoted to a temporary new workflow model: delivering chef-prepared meals to customers rather than having the meals physically cooked at the client's home.
"When it became clear that we had to pause our in-home restaurant service to help control the spread of COVID-19, we discovered that we could use our existing technology to offer a homemade food delivery service," explains founder and CEO Matt Redler. "Our new service allows any talented, licensed chef to start a homemade-delivery restaurant in just a few taps and at near-zero cost. At the same time, the families in our community can continue to look to Chefit as the easiest way for them to eat well."
More than 30 local chefs are registered on the platform, each specializing in a different cuisine, from Italian and French to Haitian and Latin American. Individual dishes range in price from $5 to $25 with a $50 minimum, and chefs interested in joining the network can apply via a form on Chefit's website.
Before coronavirus, a Chefit chef would arrive at a client's home, cook and serve a family-style meal, clean up, and leave. The entire transaction would take less than 90 minutes, and one chef could serve several homes in a single night.
Now the meals are prepared in advance, then delivered in foil pans, allowing customers to collect the items at their door, reheat in the oven, and serve
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"We're proud to provide a community-based platform that can help alleviate hardships for both consumers and talented chefs in our community," Redler says. "Chefs have always been there for you — now it's time for you to return the favor."
And, in doing so, have fresh meals delivered to your door.
"As soon as we have access to testing, it is our every intention to offer our in-home service again," Redler adds. "We're on a journey to build the restaurant group of the future — the one that owns no restaurants, and instead partners with and empowers chefs to start their traveling in-home restaurants."
Chefit. For more information about Chefit, visit chefit.com.