5 ways Maple gets everything about modern food delivery right

David Chang

When it comes to the new world of food delivery in New York City, I’ve tried nearly every service—from pre-measured prep kits to grocery boxes to ready-to-eat meals. Here’s proof.

But Maple, which launched this month (May 2015) and is getting lots of attention because of one David Chang  (AKA founder of Momofuku) behind it, is a bright star in the quickly-overcrowded sky.

The service, which delivers lunches and dinners to app users in under 30 minutes (really) with little more than a click, gets nearly everything right, from flavor to seamless delivery, addressing many of the pain points competitors struggle with.

And while its main focus isn’t health factor, there are good-for-you options (including a vegetarian choice) on the menu every single day, and ingredients are sourced from high quality purveyors.

“We feel strongly that it shouldn’t be hard to get a well-balanced meal made from high quality ingredients at an accessible price,” says executive chef Soa Davies. “We are fully committed to mindfully sourcing ingredients at their peak season, and setting a new standard in what you expect from food delivery.”

One thing that’s wrong with it? It’s currently only available in Manhattan’s Financial District. (The company says online sign-ups will determine the next delivery zone.)

Here are five ways Maple’s getting many things about (healthy!) modern food delivery right.

David Chang

1. They’re wielding serious chef muscle. Lots of these services claim chef pedigree, but Maple’s smokes the competition here. Chang is the chief culinary officer and executive chef Soa Davies was previously at Le Bernardin. The culinary board of directors includes heavyweights like Dan Kluger, Mark Ladner, and Brooks Headley (yes, we’re crossing our fingers that a Superiority Burger will pop up on the menu one day).

2. It’s really good food. As a result of all of that expertise, the meals are flavorful and delicious (which is really not the rule in this arena). I had grilled vegetables with bright, fresh pesto one day, and a vegetable curry with cashew-creamed spinach another. The options change daily, so you’ll never get bored, and there’s always one vegetarian and one lean protein option (along with a more “luxurious” choice). And they don’t scrimp on quality. Maple has relationships with local purveyors, some of which are organic, like Fossil Farms, Gotham Greens, and Satur Farms, as well as local artisanal producers like La Boîte spices.

3. Ordering is a breeze. Maple offers three daily meal options for lunch ($12) and dinner ($15). Once your payment and address information is stored, you just check out the options and click “I’ll have this” if you want to order. That’s it. If you want to see a full ingredient list, you click “details.”

4. Super efficient delivery. As soon as you place your order, you’ll get a text letting you know it’s on the way. They text you again when your order is the next to be delivered, and then call or text right when they arrive. The first time I ordered the whole thing took under 20 minutes, and the second time it was less than 15. It kind of makes you want text them back with an emoji thumbs up.

5. Pretty, eco packaging. Your meal arrives by bike, in a chic brown-and-yellow bag, and inside there are two biodegradable boxes made with plant materials. That means it looks nice on your desk (or hopefully park bench) and your inability to find time to pack your lunch doesn’t (totally) destroy the planet. —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, visit www.maple.com

(Photos: Maple)

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