When I first heard about the new food delivery service, Stadium, I didn’t think much of it. For one, it sounded like a logistics nightmare—come on, you can order from SEVERAL NYC restaurants in one delivery?!—and two, can’t you do this on Seamless?
Fast forward to two weeks, I’ve tried Stadium twice—first as a blogger that their publicist reached out to, and second, as a straight-up office-going New Yorker who loves a good lunch—and I’m hooked! (And as I started writing this post, I’ve placed a third order.)
This brand is an example of taking an existing product or service, and fine-tuning it to make it even more efficient AND desirable.
“I wanted to find a way to create a menu of New York’s best dishes, so people don’t have to sift through pages and pages of unpopular or irrelevant things to eat and get them delivered at the same time,” shared Founder and CEO Shaunak Amin. “There were so many days when my wife wanted to order in Italian and I was in the mood for Chinese; we would place two separate orders and each [one] would arrive at a different time … I wanted to build a business to solve this problem and better the delivery experience.”
Now back to logistics. It’s brilliant how the company has taken the best of Seamless, Groupon, FreshDirect, and Uber to make a venture that is worthwhile, easy to use, and fairly addictive. First, you get a daily curated menu and list of restaurants to choose from. Then, you pick a delivery timeslot for lunch (12:30–1 pm or 1;15–1:45 pm) and/or dinner (6:30–7 pm; 7:15–7:45 pm; 8–8:30 pm). Delivery is free and your bill goes to your card on file. Finally, your food arrives at the scheduled time, a courteous delivery man hands you the order, no need to tip. Easy peasy.
WHAT TO LOVE
- It’s nice to know that your food is arriving at a specific time frame, like FreshDirect, instead of placing your order at noon and hoping it arrives without you having to call to follow up. For officegoers, this is perfect in that if you’re ducking into a meeting, you know your lunch is on its way or, if like me, you eat small frequent meals/snack a lot, you don’t get hungry in anticipation. It’s happened a few times that I’d waited for over an hour for my food delivery, especially when placed during the lunch rush.
- Delivery times have been consistently prompt: My first order was scheduled to arrive between 1:15–1:45 pm. I received a text at 1:16 pm saying my food was en route, and it arrived at 1:38. The delivery man was courteous and pleasant; I had questions about logistics and he happily answered them. On Monday, I placed an order for 12:30–1 pm; my drunken noodles arrived, soberly, at 12:50, with a polite phone call announcing that my food was downstairs. And as the delivery man handed my order, he said, “Bon appétit!” Even better, Wednesday’s truffle lasagna arrived at 12:30 pm sharp.
- This service satisfies New Yorkers’ nitpicky palates by offering a wide yet curated/not too overwhelming range of lunch and dinner options.
- You can order in advance and plan multiple days in a single order.
- The food arrives warm thanks to special heated delivery bags that keep the temperature steady during transit.
- Great packaging. Orders arrive in chic black and white shopping bags and neatly packaged in uniform containers. It’s pretty enough to present, say, you’re in a meeting with top-level executives and end up ordering lunch impromptu. Again, it’s a matter of elevating the food delivery experience.
I remember at a previous job we had regular Ops meetings. Initially, one person ordered Mangia for all (you know that Sex and the City episode where Charlotte is in bed with the guy she’s seeing, the doorbell rings, and she says, “That must be Mangia, I ordered breakfast.” And it’s actually her ex-mother-in-law, Bunny at the door? 🙂 ). But after a few months, people got tired of the food and realized, given that there were 5–7 people every time, we were better off just picking a different place every week and getting everyone’s orders. Each person got a turn to choose the restaurant. Stadium would’ve been perfect for those moments when one person wanted something else other than the “pick of the week.”
IMPORTANT TO NOTE
- You need to place lunch orders by 11 am and dinner by 5 pm. Similar to how you would with FreshDirect, or even Amazon.
- They only currently deliver between 59th Street and Canal Street. Per their publicist, they have plans to expand within the Financial District and NYC, and they’re considering Brooklyn as one of the first places outside of Manhattan because of the amazing restaurant scene. No definite dates yet. I do hope Long Island City is also part of the plan! We’re practically right by Midtown. 🙂
- Membership is free for the first 1,000 to sign up (get on it!), and $19 monthly thereafter. I’m still assessing whether or not this fee is reasonable. At first it sounds a bit steep, but if you order regular delivery and tip accordingly, it definitely adds up to that or even more. And many New Yorkers spend that amount on lunch when going out to eat anyway.
I love both Seamless and Stadium. We used to live further uptown outside of Seamless and FreshDirect’s delivery zones, so the husband and I are simply happy to have these options available to us. That said, Stadium is made for food lovers and enthusiasts who want to up the ante and enjoy a curated lunch and dinner experience. In a city of picky eaters—why not, New York is a melting pot of cultures, and therefore, cuisines—this service makes it easy to satisfy one or a couple’s culinary cravings, no matter how varied.
For me, Stadium is a lovely lunch treat to enjoy at work. Ordering for one is reasonable, Stadium meals range from $8 to $27 (lasagnas), and it’s fairly easy to invite coworkers to order along. The 11 am cut-off is good too because you’re not waiting around for people to email back. (Either you’re in or you’re out!)
It would be nice to have a FAQ section on the website for those who are initially getting to know the service. I almost included one here, but this post is already quite long as is. 🙂
Drop by their website to browse the menus. Meanwhile, here are more photos:
Select images courtesy of Stadium.