104: How Bootler Aims to be the Kayak of Food-Delivery Services
If you look at your Smartphone screen, you probably have too many apps. If we look at food apps alone there is an increasing amount from delivery.com, GrubHub, Just Eat, Uber Eats, and the list goes on. I found myself thinking wouldn’t it be great if we had one app that allowed us to choose what we felt like eating and search all of those food delivery services to ensure we got the best meal at the best price and delivered in the quickest time.
I Googled my idea to see if anyone else had already thought of it and they had. Bootler is the newest player in the food delivery game, and they are set up to create transparency in the industry by allowing users to search and discover restaurants that deliver in their neighborhood by restaurant or category. It’s a simple idea that started in Chicago but make no mistake it’s going to grow very quickly. Michael DiBenedetto, CEO, and co-founder of Bootler is joining us tonight.
Can you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I graduated from the University of Miami in Florida in 2011 and went straight into business school at Dupall in Chicago and got my MBA in finance. I then went into health care consulting for a little over a year before switching into my first start up experience which was a customer loyalty and feedback app. I did that for several years then last year we were having a pivot conversation, and that’s what led me into Bootler which I founded in September of last year.
For most listeners, this will be their first introduction to Bootler. Can you tell them what Bootler is, what problem it solves and what makes it unique from other solutions out there?
Bootler is an all in one food and alcohol delivery search engine. It aggregates multiple food delivery services into one search. Think of it like kayak.com or Trivago for food delivery, where everything is in one spot. What makes us unique is the three value propositions that Bootler solves for the consumer. The first being efficiency and discoverability, the second being price and time comparison and the last being that you can get a complete meal experience. If you order Italian from your favorite Italian restaurant, you can also order a bottle of Merlot which will be sent from our alcohol provider.
Do you think as users we want to move away from multiple apps and have one food delivery app or one transport app that searches all the usual suspects, so we don’t have to?
If you look at the travel industry where people usually have their favorite airlines app on their phone that’s typically attached to their credit card they don’t want to have 2-5 airline apps. They will have the American Airlines app and the Kayak app to see all the other options. In Chicago alone there are about 16 food delivery services and if you expand that nationally there is a total of 50. It’s going to be easy to have an app like Bootler on your phone because it brings more awareness to all the different food delivery services and makes it easier to search.
Do you only serve Chicago at the moment?
Currently, at this moment we are only in Chicago. Internally we’re always talking about aggressively expanding to new markets and new cities, but we want to make sure we have a strong foundation. We don’t want to move to another city just because. We want to have the agilest growth plan as possible, so we’re growing in an efficient manner for everyone.
You guys have received two million in funding already, and I know you’re at the beginning of your start up journey there in Chicago. What kind of growth are you experiencing in these early months?
We’ve been received very well by the consumers in Chicago. We’re growing at roughly 52 percent month after month.
What’s next for Bootler?
We always want to grow and expand into any new markets as quickly as possible. But like I previously said we want to make sure that it’s done correctly and we’re not growing into a new market just because. We’re always making sure that we’re lean and agile in every front. We’re always constantly in talks with new brands about signing them up, and it’s an ongoing process which is very exciting.
What platforms is Bootler available on?
We’re currently on all desktop and mobile browsers. We are launching our IOS app within a week, and Android will soon follow that.