We’re all familiar with the apps that allow us to get every type of food you can imagine delivered to your door. Ray Reddy’s startup, Ritual, is specifically targeting the process of leaving your office and walking to pick up food for lunch. Not only do customers save time by ordering ahead, but they can also save money through perks available exclusively through the Ritual app. Ritual is launching today in Philadelphia, PA and Atlanta, GA. Ritual already exists in Toronto, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, NYC, Cincinnati, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, Boston, and Los Angeles.

In order to celebrate the Philadelphia launch, Ritual has partnered with over 50 restaurants to organize a ‘$1 Food Festival’, which will run from today until Friday, February 1, 2019. Customers will be able to order meals for only $1 from some of the most popular restaurants and cafes in the Philadelphia area. To make the deal even sweeter, customers will be able to order multiple times at different restaurants throughout the week. We encourage customers to get to know their neighborhood through the best way possible, local food.
Ritual is highly focused on helping restaurant partners not only grow their business but also accelerate their ability to compete in a more digital world. Reddy and his Ritual  founders, Larry Stinson and Robert Kim, wanted to focus first on getting that experience right for a single office building that leaves to go pick up coffee or food — and has that daily ritual of getting lunch with the team. Ritual is an app for consumers to order food or drinks as well as have coworkers piggyback onto that order to create a more socialized experience around getting up and going around the corner on a break.

“If we [couldn’t] build something that is compelling for the 300 people who work at this single building, it’s not gonna work period,” Reddy said. “That helped us define the problem narrowly. We thought, here are the 12 or 14 spots within a five minute walk of this building, let’s focus on simulating what would happen. Let’s not worry about financials or economics, let’s prove this works. Just like Uber’s  a remote control for the real world, we viewed this in a similar way where ultimately the app is a remote control for a real world experience.”

Ritual’s main flow is trying to calibrate a consistent experience that users expect when it comes to ordering something online after being trained on that simplicity for years by Postmates, DoorDash, or even apps by companies like Starbucks. The company has around 44,500 teams using the app, Reddy said.

Some of the Philadelphia restaurants partnering with Ritual include:

While an order-ahead app might be one way to connect online users to a physical location, there’s still plenty of work to do as most restaurants, coffee shops or typical stores aren’t tuned for a digital-first experience.

“What restaurants are seeing are right now the same challenges retailers saw 10 years ago,” Reddy said. “What does it mean to become omni-channel, how do you go from one customer segment to dealing with walk-ins plus digital orders. Retailers faced a lot of those challenges 10 years ago, they faced challenges around pricing, fulfillment, and how do they build new capabilities. They are dealing with a new source of demand, and fundamentally the problem was a lot of stores weren’t designed for accepting multi-channel origins.”

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