By Silicon Valley standards, Munchery is already a success. The startup, which hand-delivers cold meals for customers to reheat, has tens of millions in funding. One of its investors likes to call it "the largest restaurant in the world." To get to that level, however, Munchery has been illegally storing Silicon Valley's dinner on the street.
Uptown Almanac reports that Munchery's Mission District kitchens are overrun with demand. And to quickly scale up their operations, the company has been parking multiple refrigerated trucks outside their kitchen. Here's where those pesky regulations come in: to keep their pre-made meals chilled, the trucks' engines are left idling, spewing out toxic diesel exhaust into the surrounding neighborhood.
Neighbors are complaining and the city is ticketing each vehicle $110 per day for obstructing the street. Like any proper venture-backed startup, Munchery has reportedly begun throwing money at the problem:
This practice has not gone without notice, and has in fact generated numerous complaints from neighbors. A tipster tells us that Munchery's response to these complaints has been to give the surrounding neighbors free meals—which could be interpreted as a cheap bribe to buy their silence.
On its website, Munchery claims: "we're greening our footprint in every way," neglecting to mention turning the smoke machine on a quiet city street. Leaving commercial vehicles idling also happens to be illegal under California law.
In a statement to Uptown Almanac, Munchery's CEO said "We use [the trucks] during the middle of the day (mostly for transporting food to other facilities), and always turn them off by 6pm." He also said the company hired private security to guard the trucks and the neighborhood.
However, a tipster to the blog refuted that statement. "[At least] one truck is kept on and idling all day."
Photo: Uptown Almanac