The restaurant-delivery company Bite Squad continues to feed its hearty appetite for growth.
The Minneapolis-based company said Wednesday it has added 100 new U.S. cities to its service area so far this year, with 100 more to come. By year’s end, it expects to be serving 400 cities in 22 states.
The company has purchased 13 regional restaurant-delivery companies this year in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. It also has used profits to expand its reach into areas where it already has a toehold, including Minnesota, where the company now works with more than 600 restaurants in the Twin Cities metro area.
Meal delivery is a rapidly expanding category in the restaurant industry, growing at an annual clip of 30 to 50 percent. A Bite Squad spokeswoman said the company is outpacing that measure in overall sales as well as in most markets in which it operates.
The company’s strategy focuses on well-populated urban hubs that have a range of restaurant choices at various price points. Customers use its online platform or mobile app to order meals; delivery is promised within 10 minutes of when the food is done.
The company avoids major metropolitan centers, such as New York, Chicago or Los Angeles that have well-established delivery services.
Most of Bite Squad’s customers range in age from the 20s to 40s. They include working families scrambling to get meals on the table as well as multi-tasking millennials and up-and-coming Generation Zs, both of whom crave variety without the fuss.
“Convenience is the name of the game for them,” said spokeswoman Liz Sniegocki.
Bite Squad has a fleet of 5,000 drivers nationwide that are employees, not independent contractors, a distinction the company believes helps ensure consistency and quality. Wages are modest, but the company handles payroll taxes and workers’ compensation. The majority of drivers use their own vehicles.
The company is in the process of rolling out a new program where customers can pay a set monthly rate for unlimited orders without incurring a delivery fee. Last month, the program expanded into the southern suburbs of Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Bloomington, Savage and Rosemount.