Entering the fray for downtown lunch options comes a new delivery service, launched first on the Peninsula, called Eat Club. It’s a subscription-based, app-powered service that’s being dubbed the “Uber of food trucks,” and it aims to make lunch buying and fetching a bit less of a time-suck. They’re launching in beta mode next week, and the deal is fairly simple: Each day, Eat Club’s buses will offer a selection of food from several San Francisco restaurants and food trucks — including big names like Bar Tartine, Shanghai Dumpling King, and Nopalito — and subscribers will get to order lunch by 10:30 a.m., and then walk out of their office around noon and grab it from the bus at a set location. As co-founder Rodrigo Santibanez says, “We’re breaking down the geographic boundaries of what you can get at lunchtime.”
Membership is free, but in order to control the volume and insure a good user experience, they’re starting with a wait-list system. (You can sign up here.) The average wait time before you’re registered and able to start ordering, Santibanez says, is about three days, though that may change. The smartphone app, used for ordering, will launch on Wednesday, May 22.
Finding a good and reasonably priced lunch in and around the FiDi is always a bit of a battle. Eat Club did a private pilot test last week, parking outside the Accenture building on Second Street, and they say they got at least 1,000 inquiries from interested passersby.
The company’s actually been around since 2010, following more of a catering model for offices in Silicon Valley. But now they’ve assembled a new team and for the San Francisco concept, which is more focused on individual lunch orders and offers a service that’s somewhat unique to the delivery scene, which includes the recently launched TCB Courier.
Also, as food program manager Amie Bailey explains, “We’re going to take really, really great care of the food.” The orders wil be kept stable and upright, well chilled if appropriate or held in a hot environment until delivery. “We’re looking to provide more of a restaurant-quality experience,” she says. “It’s not like handing it off to a courier where maybe it gets to you right side up.”
The list of partner restaurants, pop-ups, and trucks is still coming together, with 30 and counting as of today. Other partners besides those above include Kasa Indian, Curry Up Now, trucks like Eire Trea and Little Green Cyclo, and pop up Rice Paper Scissors.
Amie Bailey, food program manager.
Ultimately, Eat Club is looking to expand to other cities, but for now, says Santibanez, “We’re focused on winning in San Francisco.”
Look for the initial parking/pick-up spot to be on Second Street between Mission and Howard, with more locations to be decided.