The pair wanted to find a way to help local restaurants during this public health and economic crisis, and hit upon the idea of combining food from multiple eateries into a single meal — in essence, a restaurant “tour,” to be enjoyed at home.
One order is intended to feed two people. Prices average $69-$80 and include taxes. Feed ATL pays restaurants the full retail price for menu items. Unlike some third-party delivery platforms, it does not charge restaurants to participate.
A curated menu from Feed ATL typically includes dishes from three local restaurants. The items usually are selected for their matching flavor profile, and their ability to travel well. Lynn and Zipperman also test the menu prior to selling it to customers. They work with partner restaurants on the availability of menu items, and instructions for reheating and serving, which are included on a printed sheet with orders.
To get the business off the ground, Lynn and Zipperman began by simply cold-calling restaurants. “We asked to speak to a general manager or an owner, described what we wanted to do, and asked if they wanted to work with us,” Zipperman said.
Feed ATL currently partners with 10 restaurants: Ruby Chow’s, the General Muir, Poor Hendrix, Kimball House, A Mano, Full Commission, Grana, Scout, Ton Ton and Wahoo Grill. With delivery service Wednesdays through Saturdays, the Feed ATL menu rotates, “to spread the wealth” among the participating restaurants, Zipperman said. “We always keep in mind the reason we got into this: to support local restaurants.”
The two-man crew is taking COVID-19 safety precautions seriously. They wear masks and gloves and offer contact-free delivery. “We don’t take anything into our homes, for food safety reasons,” Lynn said. Instead, they each drive to pick up orders from the respective restaurants, then regroup at a central meeting point — usually an open-air parking lot — to sort the boxed items into complete meals. “Our biggest thing is that we want to limit the amount of physical touching of boxes,” he added.
Just as restaurants continue to streamline and improve their takeout business models, so have Lynn and Zipperman. “We’ve had a pretty good response from customers. For the most part, it’s been constructive feedback and allowed us to change things up,” said Lynn, who noted that a slip of paper containing the company’s email address is stapled to each delivery order. “People understand we’re a scrappy startup; they can give us critiques that can make us better.”
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Menu: pre-set, multi-course meal for two, with dishes from multiple restaurants; menus change daily; pricing varies
What I ordered: set menu for two ($69) included insalata mista from A Mano, herb-marinated chicken breast and risotto with spring vegetables from Wahoo Grill, and ricotta cavatelli and two cannoli from Grana. The salad was a basic blend of mixed greens, red onions, marinated cucumber and a sprinkle of pecorino cheese. It was fresh, but I'd hoped for a more creative melange. A small container of chicken stock was added for keeping the chicken breast and risotto moist when reheated. Both items were satisfying, although the risotto was rather skimpy for a two-person portion. The cavatelli and cannoli did not disappoint. All items were packaged securely, with no spillage.
Service options: order online or call; orders must be placed by 7 p.m. one day in advance of delivery
Safety protocols: drivers wear masks and gloves; minimal touching of food containers
Hours: deliveries 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays
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