Darren Rabie is working his tail feathers off in a sea of green and yellow. He stands hunched over a stack of boxes tossing t-shirts quicker than he can look down to grab them. The owner of HungryDucks.com is pressing more flesh than a politician in Ohio. With the quickest and easiest online delivery in town, Rabie and the rest of his HungryDucks crew are out in force at the University of Oregon’s annual Flock Party, spreading three little words to the uninitiated:
ORDER, EAT, REPEAT.
“Sorry to have you down here in the middle of all this…” Rabie smiles, “But as you can tell, we’re pretty big with students.”
Long rows of folding tables run up one side of University Street and down the other, and the party is just starting to hit stride as Darren gives me a firm handshake. Almost every incoming Freshman has shuffled past his booth in the last two and a half hours since the event began. He makes sure that each and every one of them leaves with at least a free t-shirt and a seed planted.
“The college kids absolutely love it, it makes my job very exciting. HungryDucks provides such a seamless and stress-free ordering experience, that once our customers start using it, they are hooked.”
Darren knows that when classes get out and these students head back to their dorms, shared houses, and studio apartments, each and every one of them is going to get hungry. That’s where Darren and the crew of HungryDucks.com steps in.
HungryDucks.com, as Darren describes it, is basically an online food court, that delivers. You walk in by going to the website. There you see the different cuisines, different menus, different specials, and make your choices based on the options available. No guess work, just good food in a hurry.
“Our average delivery time, because everything is so tech-based, is 35 minutes from the time the customer checks out. It’s very quick, very efficient, with a lower delivery price than many other local services, as well as longer hours. We run from 8am-12am right now, but a month from now we’ll be open til 2am on the weekends. Which is especially important here (on campus).”
Powered by OrderUp, the up and coming industry leader in online food check-out, getting even your late-night hunger satiated has never been easier… Which is handy when you’re not exactly sticking to a 3-meals-a-day schedule, like most students. In fact, it’s tailor-made for anyone staring down the double barrel of an empty stomach and a long walk (or drive) to the nearest restaurant. Broken down by categories of food and a list of featured restaurants, HungryDucks.com has been flying meals around Eugene since 2012.
“When we first started we were only working with restaurants that did their own delivery, as well as a third party service. After we had some issues, we decided to move everything in-house and do delivery on our own. Since then…” Darren stops a pair of girls wandering around the edge of the crowd, hands them a flyer and pushes the site’s Facebook page. “Since then we’ve just been crushing it… we’ve definitely hit that next-level. We started out with mainly on-campus Restaurants such as Caspian, Sy’s Pizza, and Qdoba… We added about 20 very popular restaurants over the summer, bringing us close to 40 total.”
HungryDucks.com is not just for students, either. With different delivery areas depending on location, their drivers will buzz food as far North and West as Beltline, and plan on expanding those areas out and into Springfield in the next few months.
“It just depends on where you live, relative to the restaurant. If you live out past Beltline, and the restaurant is South Eugene, we can’t get it to you in time to make it worth it right now. But if the place is downtown, we’ll go to Beltline and even a little further.”
If there’s a quick-food option in Eugene, chances are good you’ll find it on HungryDucks.com. While most of their options hail from the campus area, the addition of many downtown and West Eugene restaurants is helping to make the online food court as diverse as possible. Even breakfast delivery as early as 8 am can get your day started on the right foot.
Rabie initially thought of the idea while touring campuses after graduating from the University of Colorado. Between his experience in Colorado with a friends’ similar business, and Darren’s love-at-first-sight relationship with Eugene, things just clicked when he first arrived at the U of O. Immediately he saw a hole that he knew how to fill, and almost three years later, the rest is history.
As the crowd at the Flock Party finally begins to thin out and the sun beats its slow, orange retreat to the horizon, everywhere the remnants of free cups, free magnets, even free lighters are swept up by the shrinking waves of underclassmen. Marketing is key for HungryDucks right now, and Darren tells me that on top of the t-shirts he expertly flings through the crowd and the flyers and Facebook “likes”, they try and push the brand on campus as much as possible whenever possible.
HungryDucks.com uses a tiered delivery charge ranging from $3.99 to $5.99 depending on how far away from the restaurant you live. It’s perfect for anyone with an internet connection, an empty stomach, and a few bucks. They work with local and chain restaurants to get exclusive deals that aren’t available anywhere else, in order to bring Eugene a convenient service like no other.
“We’re up to almost 15 drivers and 33 restaurants we’re delivering for, and still have about eight that do their own from the website… Our most popular restaurants are Caspian, Maple Garden, Qdoba, Sy’s Pizza, and Sweet Basil Express. Our most popular special is the 2 Chicken Burritos from Qdoba for $9.99.”
So whether you’re studying late at the Knight, caught in a marathon Grand Theft Auto V session, or just looking to put something a little different on the table tonight, HungryDucks.com wants to be your go-to delivery option. Just remember: ORDER EAT REPEAT.