Food Rocket, a rapid grocery delivery service based in San Francisco, announced the launch of its first in-house hot meal delivery service in Chicago.
Known for its speedy 15-minute deliveries, the startup invested over $1 million to offer customers “restaurant-level” hot meals and groceries simultaneously.
“In the future, we anticipate fast delivery across all food segments,” said Vitaly Alexandrov, CEO and founder of Food Rocket. “With quick commerce, we can provide our customers with a basic assortment of hot meals in record time.”
Alexandrov says the startup plans to open 200 hot meal kitchens by the end of 2023. Each hot-meal kitchen will have cooking lines equipped with a high-speed oven, a professional coffee machine and a team of two chefs to prepare meals with a focus on healthy dishes.
“Today, 20 percent of all orders include at least one item from the hot kitchens,” said Alexandrov. “It’s important to note that most current players aren’t yet ready to deliver freshly cooked food that is restaurant-quality, and, if they can, it’s often unclear how fast they can deliver it. This leads to a negative customer experience, so there is a place in the market for a business that can resolve all of these problems.”
Following in the footsteps of competitor Gopuff by offering hot and cold meals in Chicago, Food Rocket’s current menu includes espresso-based hot drinks, pizzas, cold drinks, sandwiches and various hot snacks. Prices range from $1.49 to $10.95.
Since the first hot meal kitchen opened, weekly sales have grown 35 percent. The expansion is part of the brand’s long-term strategy to continue to add new products and services, such as automated ordering and AI-enhanced warehouses.
This is an upward trend that is seen across grocery delivery services alike as the demand for convenience grows, and players continue to extend business models to reach profitability in a competitive market.
Founded in 2021, Food Rocket has expanded from San Francisco to cities throughout the U.S., competing with grocery delivery giants DoorDash, Gopuff, Amazon Fresh and Instacart.