Anu Mehra spent years in the corporate world in sales and marketing, until she made a major shift to the food industry last year. She says one of her biggest annoyances was the fact that so few restaurants provided a delivery service to her work and home. "I'd end up eating at the same five mediocre restaurants every day and other times I'd be so busy at work I'd end up eating sugary snack foods at my desk," she says. Even at home Mehra noticed her roommates, who didn't like to cook, falling into the feared "soup and cereal" diet. "It wasn't the healthiest way to live and probably not the tastiest way to go either." With that, she decided to take the matter into her own hands, developing a catering food-and-drink service called Foodie Call.
Creative Loafing: What is your mission as the owner of Foodie Call?
Anu Mehra: First off, I want my restaurant partners to do well, because without them we would not be in business. We're a delivery service as well as a marketing service for the restaurants. We try to do a lot to promote them and give them a lot of exposure. The second part is the consumers; I want them to have a really enjoyable experience. I want them to have as much diversity in their meals as possible and to have good food available to them wherever they are. Down the line, what I'm hoping is that MakeAFoodieCall.com becomes the go-to dining resource for consumers whether they are considering delivery or dining out.
How did you choose your partnering restaurants?
Right now we have about 33 restaurants with many more coming. We're fairly open-minded and our main concern is creating as much diversity as possible — for example, 25 steak houses wouldn't be very useful. We aim for diversity, so if we see something lacking, we'll try to find a reputable restaurant that may be able to fill that niche. We also try to partner with restaurants all over town to create more options that are close to our customers for quicker deliveries. It gives them restaurant choices that they know and love as well as restaurants that may not be in their neighborhood so they can learn about new places and try those as well.
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
I think it's probably helping to make people's lives a little easier. I no longer have a corporate job, but I know what it's like to have a 9-5 schedule and work late on a regular basis. It definitely gets boring eating the same pizza or sandwich every single day. There are so many people out there who are so excited when they find out that we exist because finally they can eat something other than the four restaurants that are right outside of their office building. Also, there are a lot of people who are sick at home or families with newborn babies who don't have time to or can't leave the house so we are able to help them as well.