Goldbelly’s success isn’t mysterious.
Read about the online food marketplace in any number of articles, and you’ll quickly learn what separates Goldbelly from the pack.
An article on restuarantdive.com describes Goldbelly as “an online food marketplace for overnight meal shipment from restaurants.”
Anyone can twist this description to sound like a story we’ve all heard before.
Perhaps, the story resonates with that of Door Dash, Uber Eats or Grubhub.
All popular meal delivery services delivering from local restaurants.
Or closer to home… Mouth? An online platform satiating food lover’s taste with specialty and niche goods.
And a competitor in the specialty food category– a market burgeoning with vigor; expecting to consume 18% of the market share by 2021 according to Mintel.
But since Goldbelly’s 2018 acquisition of Foody Direct— a former competitor– their slice of the pie just got a lot more interesting.
Then Danny Meyer — restauranter and Shake Shack founder– declared Goldbelly an industry disruptor, leading a round of funding to the sweet tune of 20 million dollars.
So, why does Goldbelly want our money?
Because Goldbelly does more than send food to your door, they ship an evergrowing, curated selection of some of the most iconic restaurant foods.
The delicious food offerings come from every region, and just about every state in the U.S.
All of these products are handmade, packaged, and shipped by each participating vendor to your doorstep.
Think about it.
In your small city, you can have the big city taste of Chicago’s Iconic Deep Dish pie from Gino’s East.
Want a taste of NYC? Not a problem.
Goldbelly features about +1600 iconic foods from NYC alone— Magnolia Bakery, Russ & Daughters, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Roberta’s Pizza, and heaps more.
Is molding-to-your-couch-can’t-affording-to-travel-anywhere, your uniform?
Goldbelly brings you a little closer to experiencing the food culture of a new city with neighborhood favorites.
CEO, Joe Ariel understands “most people don’t have everything at their fingertips [like city-dwellers]”
Goldbelly seeks to offer the best gourmet food gifts from every vendor.
So why are they going to get our money… eventually?
There’s the “want” factor.
A factor, especially using nostalgia as a catalyst for experiencing hometown delicacies.
Think of the foggy days, turning off onto a dirt parking lot to smell the breath of a smoker cooking up some of that Kansas City Barbecue.
Or the days you spent treading along dirty New York City sidewalks, for a daily grab of lox and chewy, “everything” bagel.
For me, it’s the rich history of southern food I like to have on my plate from South Carolina.
In an article published by Fast Company, Goldbelly’s CEO, Ariel cites nostalgia as provoking an “emotional visceral reaction” when “opening the box and smelling that smell…”.
And this is where Goldbelly’s success starts to ascend up the ladder.
Too, we live in an age where the concept of food delivery is becoming so prevalent it’s becoming normal as muscle memory.
We’re not only ordering meal kits.
We’re having our groceries delivered, too, and in this case, packaged meals from iconic restaurants.
The “iconic” part is the lash of hair-whipping and whistling wind that makes you pay attention.
Read any number of reviews on Goldbelly, and there’s no slowing of customers throwing money to have some of the best “neighborhood favorites” delivered to their door.
Even as a city dweller, Goldbelly enticed me with their concept.
I was primed to spend $59 for a dozen of Russ and Daughters’ Everything bagels.
Then there’s pizza so hard to turn away from, but a little bit easier when quoted a price of $79 for a 2-Pack from Chicago’s Gino’s East.
Sounds pretty steep?
It’s likely because to the average consumer, it is.
Buying from Goldbelly — to an average person may feel more like an investment.
Even if Goldbelly gives the value of shipping from restaurants from places, you’ll likely never visit.
If you live in the city, the pill is a little bit harder to swallow.
As a native of the D.C. metro area, sure, I’ve checked out almost every vendor stemming from every region on Goldbelly.
I’ve added things to the cart.
I’ve even gone as far as to reach the last step of checkout– adding my address, and card details.
But, then I back out.
And what halts the entire operation is the begging question, how legendary is it for the price?
Is the perceived value, worth the trouble… worth the risk of paying an obscene amount of money and possibly having a vat of shit pebbles delivered to your doorstep?
I struggle, I really do.
Especially, since the D.C. food scene is thriving with eccentricity.
We have Washington Landmark, Ben’s Chill Bowl.
Bub & Pop’s, featured on Diner’s, Dives & Drives.
And a happening scene of diversity all brewing with vivacity.
Ethiopian at Keren on Florida Ave.
Thai at Thip Khao.
A long, growing list of other restaurants lending to this narrative.
So, I have to ask?
Am I really missing much of anything?
Especially, when I can find legendary, comparable food in my backyard.
Yet and still, I find I might lose this game of tug of war, with curiosity pulling me forward making the offer a little more enticing with each go.
Goldbelly now has Zuppardi’s APizza from Connecticut, and I might give it a go!
Share in the Comments: How Do You Feel About Goldbelly? Do You Think You Might Try It?
PSA: Goldbelly currently has a promotion going, $15 off of the first 3 orders. Get in, while the getting is good!