MealMe, an app that compares prices and delivery times of nearby food delivery apps and restaurants, launched at Penn on Monday.
The app aims to eliminate the need for multiple food delivery apps by allowing users to place an order from the cheapest and fastest delivery option directly in the MealMe app. Although local restaurants were previously available on MealMe, the launch marks an effort by the company to publicize the app and engage with Penn students to understand their food delivery needs, MealMe President and Co-founder Matt Bouchner said.
MealMe users can search for restaurants just as they would on an app like DoorDash or Uber Eats. The app then compares prices and delivery times of available delivery services, and displays the cheapest and fastest option for the user’s restaurant of choice. The user then selects a delivery service and can place their order through the MealMe app with no additional fee.
“It’s the one-stop-shop for all of your delivery needs,” Bouchner said.
MealMe became available on the App Store in March 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic motivated millions of Americans to begin using food delivery services at higher rates. The top four delivery companies — Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates — earned roughly $5.5 billion in combined revenue from April through September of 2020, more than twice as much as their combined revenue during the same period last year, Market Watch reported.
MealMe compares services from the top four delivery apps, as well as many others, Bouchner said. When the app matches a user’s order to a cheaper or faster delivery service, it displays the time and money saved. The app also includes certain delivery services’ order tracking features.
In less than a year, Bouchner said MealMe has grown to have 70,000 total users nationwide.
The MealMe launch at Penn is more of a publicity launch than an operational one, as the app is available to everyone regardless of University affiliation, Bouchner said. As part of the launch, marketing intern Naureen Kurji reached out to several business clubs at Penn, including Penn Business Roundtable, Penn Alpha Kappa Psi, Penn Finance Club, and the Wharton Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Club to engage in dialogue about MealMe and working for a startup.
Kurji said she has reached out to several Penn clubs, and while none have responded as of Saturday, she looks forward to connecting with them in the future. When reached for comment, one club, Penn Business Roundtable, wrote they had not yet received an email, and the others did not respond to the DP.
Penn is the second college campus where MealMe has launched, following George Washington University. MealMe is targeting college campuses because college students are often reliable users of food delivery services and therefore would be eager to save money on delivery apps, Bouchner said.
However, not all students feel excited by the app.
"I've literally never used a delivery app ever," College first year Joey Jung said, adding that he does not think he would find much use for MealMe.
College freshman Allyson Lu added that she doesn't see a need for delivery apps now that she lives in a city and has easy access to a variety of food options.
MealMe is still working on developing its app and moving into new markets.
“We’re expanding beyond delivery and takeout into pre-prepared meals, grocery delivery, ghost kitchens, chefs selling meals from their home,” Bouchner said. “We are going to be the search engine for food."
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