Boston’s Chef Nightly Helps Pick Dinner, and Delivers It Too

It’s easier than ever to have premade food delivered to your doorstep, with any number of apps from Seamless to Favor to Instacart offering to bring customers almost anything they want. But what about those of us who have a tough time deciding what you want to eat?

Every Labs has made an app, Chef Nightly, for those of us who just can’t decide what to order when faced with dozens of menu items. The Boston company’s app uses artificial intelligence to suggest personalized meals that are made at local restaurants and delivered in 30 to 45 minutes, says founder Michael Sheeley. Each meal costs $12, which includes delivery and tip.

The app passively learns what customers like as they order more frequently, rather than requiring people to answer a list of questions about their preferences, Sheeley said. A first order will give people options of the most popular cuisines based on their neighborhood and the most popular food items based on those cuisines, he said.

In Chef Nightly’s beta testing, which has lasted the last three weeks, first-time users completed their orders in 29 seconds on average, he said. Part of the value in the app is that it makes the whole process of ordering and delivery—already substantially easier than it once was—even less complicated, Sheeley said.

“It learns your life and dislikes,” he said. “It learns your schedule, so when you get hungry, the app knows what you like and what you’re interested in that time.”

The app sends nightly alerts, asking if you’re interested in having the pizza that you normally order on Wednesdays, for example, delivered again, Sheeley said. It gets better at knowing what food you like the more frequently you order, he said.

Sheeley, who previously co-founded fitness tracking app RunKeeper, has received backing from an array of people in the startup community, including Blade, the venture-creation outfit founded by former Kayak CTO Paul English, Chase Garbarino of BostInno, Jason Robins of DraftKings, Jordan Fliegel of CoachUp, and Jeremy Levine of Draft, among others. He is not disclosing how much the company has raised.

The margins for Sheeley’s business are low, which means customers must order frequently to make the business succeed, he said. The company also plans to scale nationally in 2016. It made the product available today on Android and iOS in Boston today.

“We make a great product that people love, they’ll come back to us,” Sheeley said.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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