Two Commack High School graduates have joined together in an innovative business venture that aims to deliver the best local food to your doorstep.
Matthew Cillis and Keith Einstein have launched GrabMyGrubs, a restaurant food delivery service that allows local residents to get take-out from 10 Commack and Smithtown restaurants.
"It's a restaurant delivery service currently for restaurants that don't deliver. We are trying to expand the cuisines one can get delivered to their home, before it was mostly Chinese and pizza," Einstein said.
A recent college graduate, Einstein, 22, said he has spent the last four years research and formulating a business plan with Cillis that aims to eliminate the distance between restaurants and their hungry customers.
"The restaurant delivery service business is a growing industry. It has been around since the 1990s, but it has been growing since the Internet came out," Cillis said.
While a freshman studying economics at the University of Maryland, Einstein said he was inspired by a local business called Campus Foods. It acted as an online portal for hungry college students to place an Internet order from restaurants that offered a delivery service.
"When I came home on a break from college, I brought the idea of having something similar on Long Island up to my friends. They said, 'That would be awesome, could you imagine. There's nothing like that around here'," Einstein said.
He worked with Cillis to refine the idea and improve upon it. GrabMyGrubs partners with restaurants and eateries to delivery for those who don't already offer the service as an option. The duo created a 35-40 page business plan which was changed and evolved through work with a trusted mentor in the restaurant industry.
Starting up the business offered Cillis and Einstein, both with extensive background in the restaurant business as delivery boys, waiters, on the other side of the table hiring staff. What posed a challenge for the partners was getting local restaurants to agree to partner with the start up company.
"Some restaurants told us this was perfect and jumped right on board. Some we had to go back to multiple times, and others told us to come back in 6 months once we had a reputation," Cillis said.
The Commack natives found out there was a previous business that partnered with 20-30 local restaurants to offer a delivery service, but left many eatery owners on a sour note.
"We heard the same story over and over again. Basically, we were informed the owner stopped paying people and ruined the restaurant deliver service's name with these restaurants. It was hard to break through even 10 years later," Cillis said.
Despite this challenge, the 10 local restaurants who are partnered with GrabmyGrubs offer a variety of cuisine: American Roadside Burger, Andrea's 25, Athenian Greek Taverna, Commack Kosher Deli & Market, Dix Hills Diner, Exit 52 Commack Deli & Grill, Everything Bagel of Commack, Kiran Palace, Mannino's, Shiki Japanese Restaurant.
Residents from Greenlawn, Elwood and Dix Hills east as far as Smithtown, Hauppauge and Ronkonkoma can pace take-out orders through GrabMyGrubs website from one or more of these restaurants delivered starting at $2.99. Orders with pickups from one or more restaurants may incur an additional fee.