October 26, 2022
Wonder, the latest venture from serial entrepreneur Marc Lore, provides customers with chef-designed meals prepared from vans parked outside their homes. Jet.com founder and former Walmart e-commerce chief recounts Yahoo finance that Wonder balances price, quality and speed value propositions around meal delivery.
“The faster we deliver the food, the cheaper it is,” Mr Lore said last week after an appearance at TechCrunch disrupts. “That’s how the business model is set up. When you think of Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart…the faster they deliver, the more expensive it is.
Wonder’s business model, which borrows a page from Netflix, is notable for its focus on content, securing exclusive rights with acclaimed chefs like Bobby Flay and top restaurants to recreate items from their menus.
“We want to lock down all the best first-party content,” Lore said. CNBC. “Every well-known chef – every restaurant that’s great – we basically want to lock it down and have it exclusively on Wonder.”
The rest is food science and sophisticated logistics. Ingredients are prepared and packaged in a centralized kitchen to keep operating costs low compared to a restaurant, then transferred to smaller kitchen centers where they are picked up by vans. To keep warm, the meal is finished curbside. Each van has a trained chef on board and is dedicated to a restaurant.
“I thought there was a way to take a page out of McDonald’s book, and we invested in culinary engineering and food science,” Lore said. Yahoo finance. “We don’t just cook food fast, we cook good food that’s also fast.”
Launched in December 2021, the startup currently delivers meals in New Jersey with aggressive plans to expand in the northeast before expanding nationwide. The company will target dense communities to allow one van to make multiple deliveries in a single trip.
Wonder scored $3.5 billion Evaluation during a funding round in June. The Wonder: Food Delivery app has a 4.9 rating on the Apple App Store and 4.8 on Google Play with reviews praising the food quality, service, and value.
The service, however, has its detractors. A the wall street journal A July article detailed how fights broke out on a Facebook group covering South Orange and Maplewood in New Jersey between fans of the service and critics complaining about noise and pollution from idling diesel trucks as well as the impact on local restaurants.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the potential of the Wonder food truck service? What do you see as the model’s biggest challenges to achieving scale?
“How can he scale effectively with a chef in a van? Call me crazy, but I just don’t see how the math works long term.”