Hungry for lunch but don’t have time to leave your desk? There are plenty of food delivery services for that. But after creating or signing in to your account, narrowing down your preferred cuisines, navigating the hundreds of nearby options and stressing over minimum delivery amounts just to end up choosing a single dish, have you really saved any time at all? Probably not. Luckily, there’s now a way to order lunch in a mere second, and it all begins with the word “yes.”
Operated by the same minds behind popular delivery site Served by Stadium, the new Arcade (it launched on Thursday at NY TechDay) features a single daily dish from some of New York City’s best restaurants. At exactly 10 a.m., users receive a text message informing them of that day’s selected dish. Want it for lunch? Just reply “yes” via text by 11 a.m. and it’ll be delivered fresh to you by 1 p.m. As founder Shaunak Amin says, “We wanted to simplify this whole business to a level where nothing could be simpler.” We’re inclined to agree.
Amin’s other venture, the aforementioned Served by Stadium, has been one of the city’s major delivery players since debuting in early 2014. It allows its members to mix and match food items from different restaurants around the city in a single order. Much like the freshly launched Arcade, there are no delivery fees or tips. While Amin sees the two services — which share delivery merchants — as complementing each other, the similarities end there. “We’re seeing larger groups ordering through Stadium, groups ordering different cuisines from different restaurants. When people are ordering by themselves, they often only want one dish. Arcade will solve that need.” Arcade will start by offering just one dish per day — priced anywhere from $8 to around $15 — though its founder mentions eventual plans to increase the number of available dishes, provide personalize choices based on past orders and expand to other cities. As a promotion, the service's first 1,000 meals will be priced at 50 cents each.
So what goes on behind the scenes after you text just a single-word response? Are there vats of Han Dynasty’s famous piping-hot dan dan noodles housed in a warehouse basement somewhere, waiting to be delivered? Not quite. Arcade’s operations team compiles all the orders and communicates the exact number to the day’s selected restaurant, which has been informed beforehand that it will be featured on the delivery service. The dishes are all made to order and picked up by members of Arcade’s team, who then deliver them before the imposed 1 p.m. deadline. Want to give the new service a try? We vote a resounding “yes.”
Check out what’s going on in New York City on Food Republic: