Food & Beverage

Gourmet food on demand? Oh yes, there's an app for that

Delivery food app buffet

Craving a Cambodian pork burger crafted by an alum of Daniel Boulud's kitchen? How about West African peanut chicken stew concocted by a chef who hails from Jean Georges?

Both of these options are available for less than $10, plus a small delivery fee, and brought to your door within 40 minutes with the Munchery mobile application.

The appetite for on-demand meals seems insatiable. According to app discovery engine AppCrawlr, there are currently 242 food delivery apps available that cater to the $67 billion market for takeout.

Munchery is one startup that provides an alternative with gourmet meals. The food is prepared by local chefs and delivered by a staff of drivers, who are full-time employees with benefits. The service is available in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Pravin Vazirani is managing partner at Menlo Ventures, which co-led Munchery's latest funding round of $85 million—valuing the company at $300 million, according to media reports. A spokesperson for the company told CNBC that Munchery does not disclose valuation figures, downplaying the $300 million figure and declining to provide an exact amount.

The company is an attractive investment because it cuts out expensive costs that come with the traditional restaurant business, Vazirani said.

"Munchery is going after the consumer who regards it as their day-to-day option for dinner," explained Vazirani in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Friday.

Munchery said one of its kitchens puts out 15,000 meals daily. By cutting out waitstaff and the high price of prime real estate, the service said it's able to focus on efficiency and quality that's optimized for delivery.

Not like GrubHub and Seamless

Munchery app.
Source: Munchery

Publicly-traded GrubHub and its Seamless brand coordinate with participating restaurants to offer deliveries. However, the new breed of startups source, make, and deliver the food for the mobile and smartphone-eratargeting health-conscious consumers.

Apps like Munchery cater not only to urban millennials, but also to households with working parents who lack the time and energy to assemble home-cooked meals on a daily basis.

"Today you have more and more families with both parents working who don't have 45 minutes to cook dinner," said Vazirani. "It's great for consumers to have so many options out there.

Placing an order by 3 p.m. to schedule a Munchery delivery between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. costs $2.95 per delivery. The other way to order is "on-demand delivery," with no advanced planning required, between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. That option costs $4.50 per delivery.

No minimum order is required for either option.

Clarification: This story was updated with a comment from Munchery that disputes the figure being reported as its valuation.