It's not delivery, it's – wait, yes, it's delivery

SARAH HARPER | Updated 4/10/2014

Never leave the house again as Twin Cities food delivery services pick up steam.

A Bite Squad delivery man handles an order in downtown Minneapolis.
Jeff Wheeler

With Amazon drones peeking over the horizon, it’s time to gauge how comfortable we are with the inevitable brave, new delivery world.

First thing to consider: Bite Squad, the food delivery company launched in Minneapolis to bring people dishes from the menus of their neighborhood restaurants, has grown, moved into Seattle and has a little sibling on the way: Gift Squad, a same-day gift delivery service.

“I hope to also do liquor delivery,” said Bite/Gift Squad co-founder Kian Salehi. “So we’re in talks with most of the major liquor retailers in hopes of adding liquor to BiteSquad.com.”

When you order from Bite Squad, you don’t just get an ETA. You also get the name and picture of your driver, and a doorbell sound plays on your computer when they’re at your door.

Next thing to consider: luxury tech company Uber’s dreams of satisfying our every whim, immediately. “Today, we’re in the business of delivering cars in five minutes,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said at the 2013 LeWeb conference in Paris. “But once you’re in the business of delivering cars in five minutes, there’s a lot of things you can deliver in five minutes.”

What will that mean for the Twin Cities? Various marketing stunts give a hint: Uber has offered mariachi bands to San Franciscans on Cinco de Mayo and paczki to Chicagoans on Fat Tuesday. “I think in the future there could be on-demand fill-in-the-blank,” said Kenny Tsai, the Chicago-based general manager of Uber’s Minneapolis presence.

Last thing to consider: a backlog of companies waiting to burst into the space left if/when Uber alienates too many people with surge pricing during peak times.

We’re in a comfortable place right now: Our pad thai is the right temperature when it arrives. What happens when companies kick it up a few notches, and we can rub our smartphones like they’re magic genie lamps and get kittens and hair dryers and wedding DJs immediately? Are we destined to become like the chair people in “WALL-E”? Time will tell.