Prism Tastes: Alacarte Delivery
August 7, 2017Pola Bunster
Chances are you’ve experienced this scenario before: You come home after a long and stressful work day. You’re hungry but too exhausted to cook. You ask your roommate/significant other/family what they want to eat and they’re being particularly indecisive. Massive amounts of eye rolls ensue (and some serious passive aggression stemming from your hanger) and so you decide to order from multiple places at once. Then you’re smacked with a skyscraper of a delivery fee and your whole meal experience is ruined.
That’s exactly the experience Alacarte is working to change, because you just don’t need that kind of energy in your life. For those lucky souls living on the Beach, you’ve probably already tried the solid and mouth-watering eats at the on demand marketplace. Instead of placing an order from multiple restaurants and jettisoning your total through the roof, Ken Ray and his business partner Julian Johnson developed a loophole: house multiple concepts under the same roof, from Chinese and Mexican, to fresh-rolled Sushi and wood-fire pizza. Nine choices to be exact.
Ray developed the food concepts himself and they’re all equally delicious. Working with a local design team, each eatery feels like a separate restaurant yet the food is all coming out of the same place. The most popular spots? Their Chinese concept, Tae Ka Way comes in first with their Southern cooking eatery, Bobby Ray’s Fried Chicken a close second. In just four months, the delivery service has basically likened itself to a quick-grab food hall, with drivers breezing in and out at record levels of efficiency. Don’t live on the Beach? You can still order to takeaway and dig in right onsite. Ray has even created a front room with complimentary coffee and water for the drivers so they can come back and grab some energy for themselves while waiting for an order to come in.
One of the most inspiring things about the concept is that Ray and his team have put efficiency–and in turn–the drivers first. The place is just as much about technology and system as it is about the affordable prices. Taking a peek at the back of house, a whole wall is dedicated to the delivery platforms, stacked high with tablets for each concept and the multiple delivery services they go through. Usual suspects like Uber Eats, Grubhub, Amazon, and Postmates are all on the list. He’s even created a way to measure delivery distance for his chefs to know which items from which concepts to cook first for the perfect eating temperature on your plate.
So which items did we dig into? The Mongolian Beef and Orange Chicken from Tae Ka Way, the Sweet & Spicy and “KFC” sandwiches from Bobby Ray’s Fried Chicken, and the Hamachi + Mango and the NY Spicy Tuna Jalapeno Roll from Maki San. It definitely hit all of the spots. Alacarte is revolutionizing what it means to solve decision fatigue for costumers with what they call their “Family of Kitchens.” They might eventually transition into an incubator space where chefs can experiment on items with Ray and Johnson’s team executing. And although Alacarte is currently hyper-focused on a 2-mile radius on Miami beach, they are looking at other neighborhoods in Miami and beyond.
Photos by: FujiFilm Girl.