Chewse has raised $19 million to expand its corporate catering services, according to TechCrunch, bringing the total amount raised by the startup to more than $30 million.
There are no shortage of corporate catering services, especially in Chewse’s home base in the Bay Area. Chewse says it differentiates itself, however, by providing “family style” meals from local restaurants. Upon closer examination, however, it looks as though they operate just like a lot of other corporate catering services. From the Chewse FAQ:
How will my meal be served?
Your meal will be served family style. This means that it will arrive in large trays that are set up buffet style. Your team will then line up and build their plate by serving themselves from the trays.
I sound like such a pedant, but isn’t family style where you have large platters of food on a table that people pass around to each other? That may be overly nit-picky, but the corporate catering space is cutthroat and anything that can make a startup stand out in the crowded field is important. I called Chewse to see if they can explain the difference between buffet style and family style, and will update this post if/when I hear back.
Chewse’s $30+ million total raised puts it in the upper end of the pack in terms of corporate catering funding totals we’ve been following this year:
- Hungry – $1.5 million
- Feedr (London) – $2.69 million
- ZeroCater – $17.6 million
- Oh My Green – $20 million
- Platterz (Canada) – $21.7 million
- SnackNation – $22.5 million
- Chewse – $30+ million
- ezCater – $170 million
This means that Chewse can afford to outspend some of its competition in order to grab market share. Corporate catering is a tough field to be in, especially when you’re just providing food from local restaurants with no additional value add. Employees don’t care which company brought the food — only that it’s free, arrives on time, and there’s enough of it.
We’ve seen consolidation in the corporate catering space this year as EAT Club acquired Farm Hill (and closed its NYC operations), Square acquired Zesty, and Peach laid off 33 percent of its staff. Even Chewse needed to pause its expansion in LA at one point, according to TechCrunch, in order to shore up its business in Silicon Valley.
The corporate catering market is sure to go through more changes in the next year, but Chewse is now in a better position to weather any upheavals, and maybe introduce real family style eating, which, I presume, means having everyone eat in front of the TV.