Japanese startup Bento.jp sends lunch to your office in 20 mins



See the original article written in Japanese

Bento.jp, a new lunch delivery service for busy business people, launched last week. Now with just a few taps on your smartphone, you can get your freshly made bento box lunch [1] delivered in around 20 minutes, at a costs of 800 yen ($8) including the delivery fee.

I interviewed the company’s CEO Atsumasa Kobayashi, who previously worked in Itokuro (a company later transferred to KLab), involved in launching its social games division and Shanghai branch office. He came back to Japan in 2013 and founded Bento.jp Inc this past January. Currently, he runs the company, along with engineer Masahiro Saito. He explains coming up with the idea for the service through his own experience.

It was a time when I was so busy that I didn’t have many other choices than to go to convenience stores to get lunch to bring back to the office. I wished I had more options. I’d like to provide more alternatives for those who feel the same way, bringing some innovation to the existing lunch market which hasn’t changed in a long time.

How is Bento.jp different from other food delivery services? The big difference is its convenience, a sort of Uber – but for lunches. Bento.jp reminds me of UberRUSH, a new service recently launched by Uber, which delivers packages on foot or by bike in New York city. Kobayashi adds:

Like Amazon, more and more companies are starting to deliver orders on the same day or the following day. What’s the next step? I’m sure more companies will try to deliver within hours, and then in less than an hour. Bento.jp wants to meet that expectation and bring customers what they want soon after they want it.

The bento that the company currently offers is the kind most people are familiar with, with things like rice and fried chicken. Their bento lineup is created by a chef with experience at the Michelin-starred French restaurant Chez Naka. The company plans to add more quality Bento to this lineup in the future.

Bento.jp first looks to achieve stable sales of about 1000 bento a day. And while the delivery area is currently limited to Shibuya, Dogenzaka and Roppongi, it aims to expand to other busy area later on.

The number of startups offering food-related services are growing around the world. If a company like Bento.jp can successfully respond to the customers’ needs, I believe there is a lot of potential to win repeat customers.

If you work in the area where service is available, do give Bento.jp a try. You can download the app for free from the App Store.

  1. A bento lunch is a Japanese take-out box packed with rice and variety of side dishes, usually for one person.  ↩