Getting a pizza delivered is easy. But if you’re trying to watch what you eat, it can be difficult to quickly get good food that’s good for you. And when you’re pulling long hours trying to ship a product, getting food quickly and easily is important.
That’s the inspiration behind Hasty, a new iPhone app that wants to connect you with healthy food choices.
“When you look at the current online ordering apps, like GrubHub and Seamless, you just get a lot of pizza, curry, a lot of unhealthy food,” said David Langer, Hasty’s founder and CEO. “You have to really work hard to hunt down something that meets any kind of healthy dietary preference.”
To solve that problem, Hasty has forged partnerships with a number of restaurants in San Francisco to provide on-demand access to foods that fit a variety of dietary preferences. To order, you pick from a list of dietary restrictions, like Paleo, low calorie or low fat, and the app searches its database of restaurants and dishes to find ones that meet your criteria. Each dish comes with a picture, taken by Hasty’s staff, as well as nutritional information about each dish.
You can then build an order within the app, and pay for your food. After that, you can choose to have the food delivered by the restaurant, or go pick it up yourself.
According to Langer, Hasty is working with 28 hand-picked restaurants all over San Francisco, including a number of Chinese and Thai restaurants that wouldn’t fit under the traditional health food umbrella. In order to make healthy offerings available, Hasty provides those restaurants with special preparation guidelines.
“What we do with these restaurants is we request that they cook the food in a different way for us, where they don’t use MSG, they don’t add sugar, they use less salt, they use less oil, they don’t add as much brown sauce,” Langer said. “And so we’re converting these restaurants, which aren’t classically healthy restaurants, into suppliers of healthy food.”
While other food startups like Instacart have embraced the sharing economy, Langer says that in order to keep Hasty competitive on price, they have to use restaurants that already deliver.
“If we try and offer our own drivers, the cost that you have to then pass on to the consumer for one or two person orders starts being 7 or 8 bucks plus, and that’s not an affordable price point for most people.”
Currently, Hasty is in beta in San Francisco, and while there are no definite plans for expanding, Langer said that Seattle is on the list for future extension of the Hasty service.
If you’re itching for a Hasty invite, they’ve been kind enough to give us 100. Pick yours up at this link.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.