There may be nothing better than a well-cooked, home cooked meal. And as long as you have all of the supplies and are not about to be featured on The Worst Cooks in America that is. However, there are plenty of times when you just aren’t up for the Mise en place, preparation, presentation, tasting and judging. Or the clean-up.
Whether you lack the motivation to spend the time cooking a meal or don’t want to obtain the supplies needed to execute the challenge, sometimes it’s better to find a quick fix to your food woes. Often a quick fix means a trip in the car, ordering through a box and paying an ambitious high schooler for your freshly microwaved supper. Fortunately, we live in the United States–home of options.
So, with an aching stomach, a burning aversion that takes cooking out of the picture, and a lack of desire for fast food, what’s a person to do?
Well, one new and local business in Eugene is trying to quell you of your hunger problems.
Darren Rabie, owner of HungryDucks.com, originally became interested in the area of Eugene when he was touring campuses to decide where he would attend graduate school after receiving his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado. Immediately becoming infatuated with what the area had to offer after touring the University of Oregon and its surrounding region, Rabie postponed his graduate studies to try and bring a successful business he had once worked for in Colorado, to Eugene.
Part of the larger franchise OrderUp, HungryBuffs.com was started seven years ago by a friend of Rabie’s who saw a college market and the opportunity to capitalize on a new online ordering market. Beginning work for the company in 2010, Rabie quickly learned the tools of the trade and what it would take to continue to make the business profitable.
In his final year at HungryBuffs.com, Rabie mentioned that the company was able to achieve almost $3.5 million in online sales.
Now equipped with the knowledge of what it takes to operate this kind of business and seeing a niche in Eugene ready for it, Rabie made his move. In October 2012, HungryDucks officially went live. But, like most new businesses, the new online ordering company has been building from the ground up and taking steps towards become a success.
“The first few months were quite difficult,” stated Rabie about what it’s been like to have this company in Eugene. “Most of the time was spent laying the foundation, signing up our initial restaurants, and working out the kinks of the site.
Rabie also recognizes that , after around five months of operations, HungryDucks is still new to the area of Eugene and they will continue to be build, though it does have plenty of groundwork laid for it.
In fact, besides its affiliation with OrderUp, HungryDucks also partners with Pony Express Restaurant Delivery. Now having operated in Eugene for some time, Pony Express has already established them as a viable delivery service should a restaurant not deliver and you either do not want to, or are unable to, drive to the restaurant for pick-up.
This does not mean, however, that HungryDucks and Pony Express are one and the same.
“[HungryDucks] does not handle delivery for any of our restaurants,” said Rabie about the difference between his business and Pony Express.
“This has been a hurdle for us, and has always caused confusion amongst our customers. We actually work with Pony Express and offer online ordering for all their restaurants they deliver for…we have a great relationship with Pony Express because we bring them more business.”
The distinguishing factor between HungryDucks and Pony Express is the simple fact that HungryDucks also takes online orders for individuals who wish to do takeout instead of delivery while also taking orders for restaurants that have their own delivery service (i.e. Pita Pit, Pizza Pipeline).
Utilizing a conglomeration of ways to get you your food, HungryDucks has already enlisted 55 local restaurants to its services and brings customers to their online service by providing them with plenty of incentives.
“One of the biggest draws to the website is our exclusive online specials,” explained Rabie as to what attracts individuals to his site. “Each restaurant gives us a special deal that customers receive for placing their order through us.”
Besides giving users access to restaurant specials through the site, HungryDucks also has a convenient interface that allows you to sort restaurants by type of food. The site displays each restaurant’s hours, menu, Google Maps location, most popular orders as well as what restaurants can deliver to your location.
The combination of all of the services listed above has led Rabie to describe HungryDucks in a very unique fashion.
“I like to describe HungryDucks as an online food court,” explained Rabie of his business. Customers who come to our website are hungry and looking for delivery or takeout. They are able to browse different restaurants, cuisines, prices, specials, and make a decision based upon all the available information. HungryDucks is truly a one stop shop for all the delivery and takeout restaurants in the area.”
Using his experience in years past as well as a Eugene market that could be ideal for a business such as this, Rabie also believes there is nowhere to go but up for HungryDucks.
“It will take a lot of hard work, but I strongly believe Eugene is the perfect market for a site like HungryDucks to thrive,” said Rabie of his future goals and aspirations. “The size of the town, the amount of college students, and even the high amount of rainy days all combine for a strong market.”