FOND DU LAC – Local restaurant lovers have a new way to get their favorites delivered to their door.
EatStreet, a website and app where customers can order food from restaurants throughout their city and have it delivered, launched this week in Fond du Lac.
The Wisconsin-based business was started in 2010 by three University of Wisconsin-Madison college students, including CEO and Co-Founder Matt Howard, who grew up 10 miles west of Neenah, in Larsen.
He and his friends started the business in their junior year with the goal of making it easier for college students to order from local restaurants and not have to make a call to do so. Throughout Madison, they began signing up restaurants and added them all to one website to become EatStreet, Howard said.
Since, it has expanded throughout the United States and can be found in more than 250 cities across nearly 40 states, according to a news release from the company. While other delivery services focus on big cities like Los Angeles and New York, EatStreet has its sights set on smaller markets, where it hopes to work with “every single restaurant” and offer the best restaurant list, said Howard.
Spreading itself across Wisconsin is of particular importance to the business. As it has found success in Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Oshkosh and Appleton, coming to Fond du lac “made sense,” as well as fit with Howard’s “Fox Valley pride,” he said.
“We have to have Fond du Lac to make the claim we deliver everywhere in Wisconsin,” he said.
Although there are many restaurants in Fond du Lac, few offer delivery, said Howard. For many restaurants, delivery is hard to manage, with employee, vehicles and insurance costs to consider.
Through EatStreet, all is supplied. Being able to bring the option to businesses that never had it is one of the most exciting parts of the business to Howard, along with the array of restaurant choices. In Fond du Lac, customers can find food from chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Noodles and Company and Applebees through EatStreet, alongside local names, such as Green Dragon Brew Pub, Tuckers and Mancino’s Pizza and Grinders.
The website currently lists more than 20 Fond du Lac options, including 2.0 Ale House, Ang an Eddie’s Pizza, Chinatown Kitchen, Dillion’s Sports Grill, Fuji Yummy Sushi & Hibachi, King Chef, Press Box, Sal’s Pizza and Sombrero’s Mexican Restaurant. Over the next two to three months, Howard anticipates this number doubling as it has in the surrounding area.
To order, users log on to either EatStreet’s website or app, and type in their address. Customers can pick a restaurant within range, browse the menu, see what specials or deals are offered and add meals to the cart.
Items are then delivered by EatStreet’s delivery drivers. Unlike some food delivery apps, EatStreet’s drivers are employees, not independent contractors. For workers, this means they are guaranteed minimum wage as well as access to benefits. For EatStreet, its means having a “better driver base” and happier drivers who buy into the business mission and goals, Howard said.
He also believes it helps to ensure the best delivery service for customers and restaurants, as all drivers are uniformed and given insulated delivery bags by EatStreet, he said.
The business predicts it will add 50 new delivery jobs to the city, and “climb from there,” said Howard. Oshkosh has about 50 drivers, while Madison has 250.
Howard said Fond du Lac customers should give EatStreet a try for its convenience, but to encourage them further, for 30 days after making their first order, customers will receive free delivery from any business with an illustration of a green car next to it.