Cincinnati is getting more competition in the space for online and mobile food ordering and delivery.
Baltimore, Maryland-based startup company OrderUp is launching its service in the Queen City this week and company officials said 35 restaurants have signed up to participate including those that are in the Central Business District, Over-the-Rhine, Mount Adams and other locations. Participating restaurants includes Tom + Chee, Crave Restaurant, Huit Craft BBQ, Amol Indian Restaurant and Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant. Downtown Cincinnati locations for Chipotle Mexican Grill and Skyline Chili are also part of OrderUp's ordering and delivery roster.
Chris Jeffery, a 33-year-old Milford High School graduate, is co-founder and CEO of OrderUp, which operates in about 40 markets. The company has plans to expand the number of areas it serves after the Chicago-based company Groupon announced Thursday it would buy OrderUp to bolster its presence in food ordering and delivery.
OrderUp joins online platforms GrubHub and Yelp's Eat24 for online restaurant ordering and delivery in Cincinnati. These platforms are among a growing number of companies around the country that are working to modernize how people dine and connect with quality food in their area.
"We want all the restaurants you want as a consumer," Jeffery said. He said he measures success by people being wowed at the number and quality of restaurants available through an on-demand service.
Jeffery said the concept for OrderUp came from another business he helped launch while a student at Penn State University. The previous company was designed to deliver food from restaurants to students around State College, Pennsylvania. OrderUp launched in 2009 and company officials said the company has processed more than 10 million orders since its creation.
Mobile food ordering may seem like a no-brainer for restaurants to participate in, but it can be a difficult business. A company has to find the right delivery partner -- unless it is done in-house -- to provide food to customers. Signing up restaurant operators can be tricky because they have to be convinced it's worth their while and a bad customer experience can tarnish the brand. Jeffery said the company has been working for the last two months forging relationships with partners for OrderUp's service.
Jeffery said in order for OrderUp to be successful as a newer company, it cannot over promise and under deliver. That means if someone wants to place an order in Milford to an Over-the-Rhine restaurant during rush hour, it isn't an order that can likely be filled.
OrderUp's benefits are that it provides access to restaurants and transparency in the ordering and delivery process, Jeffery said. Earlier this year, OrderUp hired Chris McGlothlin, the former chief information officer of Domino's Pizza and creator of the Domino's Pizza Tracker, to help build its operations and technology platforms.See Original Article