At a first glance, Munch Deliveries may seem like any other food delivery service. However, this business started by Eckerd students and alumni provides Eckerd students with a fresh alternative that understands its audience.
Started in 2018 by Eckerd seniors Ishant Ayadassen, Patrick Pinho and Christopher Dombrowski, the company officially launched on Apr. 20 of 2019 with an 11-day beta testing phase online only for the weekends. Now, Eckerd students can submit orders any day of the week after 4 p.m.
Ayadassen is the founder of the company. He arrived in the U.S. for the first time in 2016 from Mauritius, a small island nation off the coast of Madagascar. He balances classes as an economics major with running his own business. He’s also a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed professional business fraternity at Eckerd.
“Basically, the business is set up by college kids for college kids,” Ayadassen said. “We know when the writing portfolio week is, we know when finals weeks is and when a storm’s coming. We know what you guys want and when you guys want it, and we’re able to target you guys and give you the coupons and deals that are more targeted to you.”
According to Ayadassen, the original idea was to have an on campus delivery service through Café Bon Appétit where food would be able to be delivered to dorms from various on campus eating locations. It eventually evolved into a service connecting the campus to various off-campus locations, and is completely independent from Cafe Bon Appetit.
Junior, psychology and human development major, Mary Grilli has used Munch Deliveries to order China Wok. “My friends and I usually order Munch if we don’t feel like going to the caf or the pub, or if they’re closed or something. I like it,” Grilli said. “It’s super convenient because they know where to go, whereas sometimes I’ve had to spend 20 minutes trying to find my Uber Eats driver. And the prices are good too.”
Munch Deliveries currently takes orders from five locations in St. Petersburg but plans on expanding. Soon students will be able to send screenshots of prices on other delivery apps like Uber Eats, and Munch will price match the cost.
When it comes to employees, drivers are independent contractors that earn 100% of the delivery fee. Munch also only hires Eckerd students to solve the problems of delivery drivers getting lost on campus. Since the drivers are students, they know exactly where to go.
“Our vision is to ease the daily lives of student communities through the advent of convenience and accessibility by offering the most affordable and satisfying deliveries while empowering students through employment opportunities,” the Munch Deliveries website said.
Correction: A previous version of this article said that Munch began in 2017 and was launched in 2018, when the company began in 2018 and was officially launched in 2019. Correction issued Oct. 7, 2019 at 3:15 p.m.