Cookin Joins Shef & DoorDash In Championing Home Chef Delivery Market
April 05, 2023
“I think the mid-market restaurant will now be the domain of home,” Momofuku’s Dave Chang predicted in an episode of his 2021 Hulu show The Next Thing You Eat. “You get food delivered to that home you cook at home, but I think one of the things that will happen is that you’ll be able to serve food out of your home as a business.”
This was said after consuming Cochinita Pibil from Barra De Pan, a Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MEHKO) in Riverside County, California, where AB-626 legislation allows home chefs to cook food for dine-in or delivery so long as they pass certain inspections and meet requirements. However, only Santa Clara County in California has adopted similar legislation. Meanwhile, ethnic homemade delivery platform Shef has raised over $100mm and quietly “blitzscaled” to dozens of cities across 11 states where there is largely no legal framework for the sale of home-cooked prepared food. In August of last year, Toronto-based Cookin launched its on-demand service that features just under 100 home chefs who have cooked tens of thousands of meals in the last seven months. This summer, Cookin plans to launch its first US market in Dallas, Texas. Unlike Shef, which HNGRY profiled in 2021 for its “fast and loose” approach to legal compliance and recently laid off its entire policy team, Cookin appears to have a more calculated strategy when it comes to establishing municipal standards with local officials. It has raised ~$17.5mm and counts leadership from the likes of Olo, Amex, and Resy as investors and advisors.