This under-the-radar startup wants to help restaurants take on Uber Eats and Grubhub. Here’s a look at its vision to become the Shopify of restaurants.

Nabeel Alamgir
  • Lunchbox is a young company that is hoping to put third-party restaurant delivery apps like Uber Eats and GrubHub out of business.
  • The start-up helps restaurants build out its own delivery and ordering platform and charges significantly smaller fees than the major apps. 
  • Cofounder Nabeel Alamgir has seen the impact of the apps from the inside of the restaurant business: The former busboy was Bareburger’s chief marketing officer.
  • The firm shared its pitch deck it used to raise $2 million in its seed round with Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Nabeel Alamgir didn’t speak English before moving to the US at age 15, worked his way up from busboy to executive, and was rejected by 72 investors before getting funding for his first start-up.

In other words, Alamgir, the cofounder of software-as-a-service start-up Lunchbox, is used to big challenges. But his current target means taking down companies with millions of users and even more funding: third-party restaurant delivery apps like GrubHub and Uber Eats.

Alamgir’s story is both unique but well-known. Working as an executive at Bareburger — he was chief marketing officer after starting at the company as a busboy in high school — he saw the fees being charged by third-party apps and decided to do something about it. 

He’s not modest about his goals.

“TLDR: got tired of cutting checks to GrubHub and Uber Eats, so started a food-tech company to save the restaurant industry!” his LinkedIn reads. 

Lunchbox is still young and tiny, with a $2 million seed round to its name so far. But they clearly have the attention of the biggest of the big: Doordash made an offer to buy the firm before Lunchbox had raised its seed round.

“If the seed didn’t come through, we would have taken it,” said Alamgir, who cofounded the company with Andrew Boryk, who is the chief technology officer and a former software engineer for Johnson & Johnson. 

“The Doordash deal would have been more profitable for us. We didn’t want it because we wanted to bet on ourselves.”

Doordash said in a statement to Business Insider that it was always looking for opportunities, including M&A, to complement its “organic strategy,” but didn’t have anything else to share right now. 

Now the company is raising a Series A. Keep scrolling below to see its pitch deck it used to raise its first millions.

Slide 1


Alamgir estimates that this pitch deck was the seventh or eighth they pulled together to raise their seed funding. 

“Sometimes it just takes time,” he said.

Slide 2


While third-party apps get most of the attention on Lunchbox’s site — their homepage has an animated hand raising its middle finger with the words “fork third party” — the start-up identifies other costs restaurants were dealing with before the pandemic. 


Slide 3


Alamgir’s goal is to be everything in the delivery process — from the nuts and bolts of the website used to order to the actual delivery mechanism. He said the company is working with a robots company in California to test drone delivery in the fourth quarter in Los Angeles.

Slide 4


After seeing the amount of money going toward tech in the restaurant space, Alamgir hopes Lunchbox will be able to build the portal to a restaurant, no matter how you find it.

“Third-party apps aren’t going anywhere, but brands have to tell their own story.”

Slide 5


Right now, an overwhelming majority of digital orders from restaurants come from third-party apps, Amalgir said, but clients using Lunchbox have moved closer to 50% of online orders coming from their own sites.

Third-party apps have been cutting into restaurants’ profits since before the pandemic shut down indoor dining.

“They were never supposed to be our only source revenue,” he said.

“It’s not worth it for a restaurant to stay open” if their only money is coming from GrubHub. 

The pandemic has put that reality in a stark light.

“It was a real wake-up call for the industry,” said Amalgir.

Slide 6


The last two slides touch on the aspect that Alamgir believes originally helped set Lunchbox a part: the marketing aspect. 

Delivery apps like GrubHub are constantly emailing users with personalized deals based on data collected on them, and Lunchbox hopes to do that for individual restaurants and small chains. 

“We are the Shopify of the restaurant industry,” he added.


Slide 7


The fees of 3 to 5% is an eighth of what some third-party apps charge. A viral post from a Chicago pizza restaurant owner from the spring showed just how much GrubHub charges: for more than $1,000-worth of orders, the restaurant ended up with less than $400.

“Stop believing you are supporting your community by ordering from a 3rd party delivery company,” wrote owner Giuseppe Badalamenti in a Facebook post. 


Slide 8


The next frontier outlined by Lunchbox is a market that has exploded during the pandemic: Alcohol delivery. With local restaurants unable to serve drinks in-person due to the pandemic, third-party apps began delivering beer and occasionally mixed drinks in New York. 

Slide 9

Since this slide, Lunchbox has grown 700% in revenues, Alamgir said, suggesting some of those restaurants “in talks” have begun using their services. The company’s first client naturally was Bareburger. 

The firm’s website lists New York chains such as Sticky’s, Westville, and Mexicue as clients. Right now, the firm is focusing on local chains with at least 10 locations, and Alamgir said they received thousands of inbounds from local restaurants during the pandemic that they passed on because it was only one or two locations. 

Slide 10


Slide 11


In this version of the company’s pitch, software-as-a-service firms for restaurants like Olo, LevelUp, and Ziosk are all listed as competition. Now, though Alamgir says he has shifted the conversation to include the more well-known third-party apps as the start-up’s main competition. 

“Our pitch has shifted significantly.”

Slide 12


Still, Lunchbox wouldn’t hate to have Olo’s trajectory. The New York-based company is halfway to unicorn status, and counts Wingstop and Five Guys as clients. 

Slide 13


Similarly, LevelUp was bought by Seamless-owner GrubHub for nearly $400 million. 

Slide 14


The advisors listed for the start-up include: Solomon Choi, who founded New York’s first self-serve frozen-yogurt shop, 16 Handles; Alex Beltrani, who runs customer-feedback platform Tattle; Jason Anello, the top marketer at Aurify Brands, which includes Five Guys; and venture capitalist Andrew Gluck.

Slide 15


Alamgir believes working in the restaurant industry — from the top to bottom — already is a key part to Lunchbox’s pitch, and highlights it again here.

Slide 16


The market for this type of software is booming, and the firm is working to roll out a self-service option that would let small restaurants create their own platforms. 

Slide 17


Lunchbox lays out its rates.