Foodjunky Aims to Take the Pain Out of Ordering Lunch for Meetings
I have so much lunch-ordering shame. Should some poor soul offer to pick up lunch for me, I have to write my order down in such ridiculous detail—veggie sandwich, no sprouts, no cucumbers, light onions, extra banana peppers; if they have vinegar and oil, ask for lots of vinegar but just a splash of oil—that by the end I’m quite sure the person is seriously regretting the offer to fetch the food. And pity the administrative assistant in charge of herding cats for a lunch meeting—the last thing he wants is to be handed some novel-length sandwich order.
But perhaps a new Bizdom startup called Foodjunky can take the pain out of the process. Travis Johnson, Foodjunky’s co-founder and CEO, says his company has built a proprietary platform that allows automated group ordering.
Say you need a lunch meeting at the office catered for 20 people. You’d log on to Foodjunky.com and choose a restaurant, and enter in all the email addresses for the meeting’s attendees. The menu gets delivered to everyone on the list, they order their lunch online, and on the day of the meeting it arrives as specified—no sprouts, no cucumber, and no eye-rolling from that administrative assistant.
What Foodjunky doesn’t do is actually deliver the food. For 99 cents a head, it handles processing the order electronically, but the restaurant arranges delivery or pick-up. Johnson, who is a Chicago native and originally set out to establish his business there, says Detroit is an interesting market for this kind of startup.
“We’re trying to do a major push to convince restaurants that it’s safe to deliver to offices in downtown Detroit,” Johnson says.
Though Johnson started building the company and the platform in 2011, he’s still new to Detroit. Because of that, he has only about 20 restaurants that have signed up so far to be listed on Foodjunky in Detroit and another “eight or so” in the suburb of Troy. But just because he’s starting modestly doesn’t mean he doesn’t have huge plans for the future.
“A year from now, I want Foodjunky to be nationwide,” he says. “There are 980,000 restaurants in this country, but you can only order from 2 percent of them online.”
Johnson had never been to Detroit before he moved here to spend a term at Dan Gilbert’s Bizdom accelerator. “Just the connections I’m getting here have been amazing,” he adds. “I feel very safe in downtown Detroit.”