Technology consistently makes our current cultural norms irrelevant. iTunes made CDs and physical copies of music unnecessary. Uber is currently decimating the taxi industry. And now it looks like the ability to enjoy a five-star meal will not require leaving your living room.
David Chang, founder of Momofuku, is helping launch a new restaurant that will be entirely delivery, called Maple. While similar meal delivery services already exist, this one’s unique for the amount of culinary talent that will be involved. In addition to Chang, Maple’s executive chef Soa Davies worked for Michelin Star-winning chef Eric Ripert at La Bernardin. The restaurant will also feature a culinary board with Brooks Headley and Mark Ladner from Del Posto and Dan Kluger from ABC Kitchen. So Maple’s basically an all-star team of amazing chefs all working to make the menu as great as possible. And all the food is non-GMO.
“I think Maple will be like what René [Redzepi] does at Noma,” Chang told Food & Wine. “There were so many ingredients he couldn’t get in Denmark, so he created a whole new world of cooking. We’re just going to work with food that’s deliverable. And we’ll break some rules.”
The Maple app attempts to make the customer experience as satisfying as possible. You can browse through ingredients of the dish to make sure there isn’t any sneaky spices that you don’t enjoy. And it also gives you updates on when your order’s being received, being made and being delivered, which is way better than the typical, "Your order will be there in about 60 to 120 minutes,” you get when ordering out. Also you won’t have to break the bank for a high-quality meal. Lunch dishes cost $12 while dinner comes in at $15, including tax, tip and delivery.
Unfortunate, Maple is only available in New York’s financial district below Chambers street right now. The delivery guys only use bicycles, so they need to restrict their zones to ensure the food arrives in 30 minutes or less. They’re even keeping notes on addresses to ensure any delays can be accounted for. So if you work in a 30-story building with only one elevator, they’re factor in that waiting time for your next order.
Can Maple do for food delivery what Uber did to ride-sharing? And when can we expect a cheaper knockoff version to come out with cheaper ingredients and mustachioed delivery men?
Joseph Misulonas is an editorial assistant for Playboy.com. He can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.