Not many people were traveling last year, and certainly not for a slice of New York pizza or a Chicago hot dog. But that didn’t mean the food wasn’t traveling to the people. Goldbelly, the food delivery service that ships frozen food at premium prices (like, say, $89 for two classic Neapolitan pizzas from Di Fara in Brooklyn), saw its clients nearly double during the pandemic, its orders quadruple, and now, The New York Times reports, $100 million in funding. Homesickness is powerful.
“We’re basically opening up a 3,000-mile radius for restaurants,” Joe Ariel, Goldbelly’s co-founder and CEO, told the Times. In practice, that means that a bakery in New Orleans shipped the same amount of po’boys every week during the pandemic as it served on the premises in normal times. It also means that it’s fielding questions from customers in Alaska about the best way to reheat leftovers. Goldbelly is bringing the people of this nation together!
But now the big question is: with restaurant and travel restrictions lifting (and airline sales), will people still be willing to pay all that extra dough to get food shipped to them? Goldbelly is counting on it (but just in case, the company has added meal kits and cooking classes to its repertoire). Would you still pay $89 for Di Fara pizza when you could fly to New York and eat it hot for almost the same price?