allows New Yorkers to be even lazier

Fancy fast food

The rise of fast casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera has hurt fast food chains, which were confined to lower price points as their rivals reaped greater profits. Now they want to compete in the space by adding higher-margin premium items, says Whiteman, who points to examples like avocado-laden burgers and "handmade" pizza. "They're trying to give people reasons to come in other than the el cheap stuff," he says.
Photo: RF Pictures/Corbis

If you’ve ever been sitting on a bench in Central Park enjoying a book when suddenly you were hit by an overwhelming desire for a bagel, feels your pain. The online food ordering company has said it will deliver food to the western side of the park between 66th and 86th street.

“People are in Central Park, and sometimes they’re hot or hungry,” said CEO Jed Kleckner.

The service works the same way as any order to a home or office. Customers enter their orders though a link on the company’s homepage or on its app, and then wait with their phone so the delivery driver can call when in the area.

Kleckner said the new service represented “a whole other area for orders to be placed” and “another way for our merchants to generate revenue.” Restaurants essentially outsource their delivery to the company and pay it a commission.

Grubhub, another food delivery service (GRUB), also caters to people in Central Park, noted the Gothamist. For years, many restaurants have also delivered to the park’s perimeter, as long as customers could say at which corner they would be waiting.

In addition to making individual meals available, has created several packages. One designed to cure hangovers includes a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, coffee, a Gatorade and Advil. Another is designed for picnics. Finally, there’s the “Hot N’ Cold” — 12 Amstel lights, a large cheese pizza and a 5 pound bag of ice.

Kleckner said that it is up to merchants to make sure they check IDs for alcohol orders. The app makes it clear that having open containers of booze in the park could be potentially problematic if police walk by.

The company’s executives are going to see how the program does in the next few weeks before seeing if it’s worth expanding to more of Central Park or other big outdoor areas like Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Parks in other cities are also a possibility as are airports, Kleckner said.

“I certainly think that the food on planes isn’t so great,” he said. “It would be great to be able to order something on the way.”

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