Bite Squad continues to grow despite being app-less

By Todd Barin
Murphy News Service

A Minneapolis based food delivery company continues to grow despite not having what some may say is a necessity to succeed in today’s world — a mobile app.

Kian Salehi co-founded Bite Squad in the summer of 2012 and he hasn’t looked back. In just two and a half years, the local food delivery service employs over 100 drivers and has a partnership with 250 restaurants.

“I am certainly satisfied at how far we have come, but we absolutely still have things we need to work on,” Salehi said. “We need a smartphone application with push notifications. And we are always trying to improve our website and team-up with new restaurants.”

Bite Squad operates completely off of a website and offers ‘three simple steps to food paradise.”

Spencer Jones, a senior at the University of Minnesota, is a frequent Bite Squad customer who appreciates the convenience of the company.

“They pretty much deliver food to wherever you are and they keep you updated as to when your food will arrive,” Jones said. “I do think a smartphone app would help though. If you are on the go or don’t have your computer, just being able to open the app and place an order would be great. I think a lot of people would use Bite Squad more if that were the case.”

Bite Squad is still in the process of making a smartphone application, but the company continues to grow and perform well.

“Having a delivery service like Bite Squad allows us to reach new customers that we wouldn’t have been able to before,” Frank Vescio, president of Vescio’s in Dinkytown said. “Our hope is that once they taste our food, the next time they will want to come in for a full dining experience.”

Only a handful of restaurants on the University of Minnesota campus offer in-house delivery, so a number of local eateries quickly partnered with Bite Squad. Pagoda connected with the food delivery service when they first launched in 2012.

“Bite Squad has always done a very good job for us,” Justin Lin, owner of Pagoda, said. “Our delivery sales have definitely increased as we have around 10 to 12 take out orders a day.”

Sara Eckl, a service-manager at Keys Café and Bakery, commented that the food delivery service helps with catering orders for large businesses.

“I’ve only had great experiences with Bite Squad and we’ve been with them for about a year,” Eckl said. “While we do offer in-house delivery, having another delivery company that we can rely on for catering orders is very helpful.”

As the technological arms race gets more competitive by the day, Bite Squad is still expanding without having the ever-important smartphone app.

“Although our website is already smartphone and tablet friendly, so it acts similar to an app, we realize the importance of creating an app that’s downloadable to a phone or tablet,” Salehi said. “We are currently working on both Android and iOS apps that should be done within the next few months.”

Reporter Todd Barin is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota.

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