Seattleites have another app at their disposal for ordering food.
The latest tech tool is from Ritual, a fast-growing Toronto-based startup that has raised $127.5 million for its meal ordering platform that is already live in 16 cities worldwide.
Ritual launched this week in Seattle with around 100 restaurants and coffee shops including Pegasus, Sprout, Juicy, Me’s Market, Anar, and Cherry St. Coffee.
Much like apps such as Uber Eats, Caviar, Postmates, DoorDash, Amazon Restaurants, Peach, and others, Ritual lets people buy food using their phone. However, Ritual does not deliver meals — it is focused on takeout orders thats users pick up at the restaurant without waiting in line. Ritual also does not charge fees; the menu prices are the same as what you’d pay without the app.
Another differentiator: the app has a social ordering feature called Piggyback that encourages users to make bulk orders with colleagues, effectively creating what Ritual CEO Ray Reddy called a “free delivery network.”
“With Piggyback, you can now effectively deliver items that were once considered undeliverable (coffee and lower priced items) that are either difficult to deliver or where the fee is more than the item cost itself,” Reddy told GeekWire.
For restaurants, Ritual provides real-time data on store experience, food quality, and customer satisfaction metrics. Ritual makes money by taking a 10-to-13 percent fee from restaurant sales that the app generates; if a restaurant brings in a customer on their own, they pay no fee for transactions on the app.
In the vein of mobile pickup orders, Ritual is similar to MealPal, another venture-backed startup that launched in Seattle less than a year ago. MealPal uses a monthly subscription model and a catered food preparation process to offer daytime meals for less than $6 per day. MealPal CEO Mary Biggins told GeekWire that the company has served more than 500,000 meals in Seattle since launching in May.
Ritual doesn’t offer cheaper prices. But it does allow users to collect rewards points that can be used toward future purchases, as this review Business Insider review noted. The company also offers corporate programs that allow employers to give employees Ritual credits.
Founded in 2014 by Reddy, Larry Stinson, and Robert Kim, Ritual has more than 5,000 restaurants on its platform. It crossed one million orders in less than two years and now processes more than one million orders in less than two months. This past June, the 220-person company raised a $70 million Series C round in June led by Georgian Partners, with participation from existing investors Greylock Partners, Insight Ventures, and Mistral Venture Partners.