Submit Content

Rosslyn Startup ‘Hungry’ Expanding, Looking for New Talent

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

A little over two years after it launched, Rosslyn-based startup Hungry still feels like a small company.

These days, founder Eman Pahlevani is as likely to answer the company’s main phone line as anyone else in the 30-person office. If everyone else is busy, Pahlevani says sometimes he’ll even get up and go run a delivery.

But the small feeling belies some remarkable successes over the last two years. Last summer, the company announced plans to expand into Philadelphia. Riding high on that growth, Pahlevani said the company is planning on expanding into five new cities in 2019.

“The first two will be Atlanta and Boston,” said Pahlevani. “The last three are still in the works, but these are your big east coast locations.”

The core concept of Hungry is simple: office lunches can be a hassle for everyone involved. Office managers have a limited set of dining choices and face repetition, while restaurants struggle with orders they’re not built to manage.

“Nobody in this industry was looking at how to solve the buyer’s needs,” said Pahlevani. “These people are buying food daily or weekly for their teams, but today they’re being serviced by restaurants not optimized to handle catering. If I go to Panera, I can get those sandwiches once or twice a month, but not every day.”

With Hungry, office managers pay no more than what they would for the average office meal. Pahlevani estimated lunches range from $9 to $12 per person. But the manager has access to a wide variety of chefs hand-picked by Hungry so a client could order lunch every day for a month and never get the same food twice.

“There’s just so much variety,” said Pahlevani. “We solve those problems with a distributed network of chefs.”

It’s an idea that seems to have caught on. Pahlevani said the company saw 500 percent growth in 2018. Its fleet of delivery drivers has grown to between 70-75 employees.

“We’ve been hiring in Arlington weekly now,” said Pahlevani.

The infrastructure of the company is built on a network of commercial chefs and delivery drivers. The chefs audition at the company’s headquarters and Pahlevani says Hungry doesn’t put anything on their menu that doesn’t pass the staff’s food test.

Once they are chosen, the chefs work out of commercial kitchens that Pahlevani said cropped up across urban areas, after legislation required food trucks to be tied to a commercial kitchen.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is how many talented chefs there are in any given region,” said Pahlevani. “I mean these are really good, authentic chefs, but most of them work in a restaurant and work on someone else’s menu in the back of a kitchen. It’s a lot of hidden talent. So we let chefs cook their own menu, set their own prices, and we highlight them at every catering.”

Pahlevanis said most of the chefs start as part-time workers, but within a month go in full time. Some chefs make between $20,000 to $30,000 dollars per month.

But the other big component Pahlevani credits for Hungry’s success is delivery drivers — or ‘delivery captains’ as he calls them. Drivers can often struggle with getting into loading docks or finding the right rooms in office buildings, or when they do arrive they just drop off the bags of food.

“We train all of our deliverers to get inside loading docks, get clean, set up and clean up,” said Pahlevani. “You’re trying to optimize and train people to solve these people’s problems.”

Pahlevani says the company has seen so much demand recently that it’s still hiring new delivery drivers, just to keep pace.  The company is also hiring staff for sales and engineers or developers for the technology side of the company.

Photo via Facebook

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

Literacy Issues in Elementary Schools — “More fourth and fifth grade students in Arlington needed literacy help at the end of the last school year than at the beginning, according…

Just Reduced includes a 4 BD/3.5 BA home with wooden floors and a floor to ceiling stone fireplace.

As seven-year-old Jaxon Vega positions his skateboard at the top of the concrete bowl at Powhatan Springs Skate Park, he takes a deep breath. Vega steadies the back of the…

A section of Columbia Pike will be reduced to one lane in each direction starting next week. The lane closure, which is set to start Monday and stretch into January…

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit
peacefulmindsolutions.com.

Submit your own Community Post here.

(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

ACFCU’s Homebuying Happy Hour

Are you ready to buy your first home, but concerned about saving for a down payment? Grab a drink and join us for 45 minutes to learn more about how you can buy your first house with 3%, 5%, or

Azure Dream Day Spa Grand Opening

Azure Dream Day Spa is hosting their Grand Opening Celebration at their beautiful new spa located at 901 N. Quincy St. on Friday, August 12 from 5-9 p.m.

All are invited to come tour the new spa and to take

×

Subscribe to our mailing list