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CookUnity CEO Mateo Marietti on Connecting Chef to Consumer CookUnity CEO Mateo Marietti talks about founding the meal subscription service, a sustainable-minded business model, and becoming the "Spotify of Food Delivery."

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Rethinking How We Get Food - A traditional restaurant is one brand under one roof. With a commissary kitchen you can have multiple brands under one roof. But with CookUnity it’s different. Their “roof” is an app that connects chef with consumer. Technology is helping food get around easier, which is a win for cooks and eaters alike.
  • Helping Chefs Scale - While the average chef might feed hundreds a day, CookUnity helps them reach thousands with a scalable model that includes kitchen space, ingredients, and essential services for running a food business. This model has helped their chefs make lots more money than they would just cooking at one restaurant.
  • Customers Want Variety - In the food industry the customer wants choice. Mateo Marietti points out that even the biggest burger brands don’t reach a majority of customers because the market demands options. CookUnity helps provide eaters with a bevy of choices by partnering with dozens of chefs from around the United States.
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CookUnity CEO Mateo Marietti is on a mission to reconnect farmer to chef to eater.

Mateo Marietti co-founded the CookUnity meal subscription service with a belief in the power of great food. And great food comes from great chefs.

But far too often it's hard for cooks — even the best — to expand outside the walls of their restaurants.

That's where CookUnity comes in to help.

"We want thousands of people per day to enjoy your recipes, not just hundreds," said Mateo Marietti to Restaurant Influencers host Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.

CookUnity is an innovative "chef collective" that sells personalized meal subscription plans with an emphasis on quality, health, and sustainability. It connects top chefs from top restaurants directly with thousands of diners all over the United States.

The New York-based company provides kitchen space, ingredients, and other vital services for their large line-up of chefs. Then the meal magic can be scaled much easier.

"The problem that we are trying to solve primarily is the access problem. So if you're a successful restaurateur or chef, your impact is not that big. Your reach is not that big, even the successful ones."

Being a chef with CookUnity means being able to tap into a pre-existing customer base, scalability potential, and far less headaches than it takes to operate a restaurant location.

"We have two chefs doing more than $2 million a year in income, while more than 20 percent of our chefs are making more than a million," the company co-founder said.

CookUnity meals have included such specialities like Miso Roasted Brisket by Maiko Kyogoku, Parmigiana Chicken by Pat LaFrieda, and Asiago-stuffed Gnocchi by previous Restaurant Influencers Guest Fabio Viviani.

Mateo Marietti has been connected with food his whole life. He was born on a farm in Argentina and has worked in the business for a long time at the intersection of food, logistics, and technology. Mateo estimates that the brands he has built have delivered more than 25 million meals combined.

The Pandemic of 2020 took CookUnity to another level due to an increase in people wanting to eat at home.

"It was an inflection point. And we continue growing steadily since then," he said.

Even though CookUnity is operating in an emerging space in the food industry, Mateo knows in a few years people will get used to the idea of ordering their meals online directly from amazing chefs. After all, there was a time when it was still new to rent a stranger's house through a website, or get a ride from a stranger with a cell phone app.

"I will argue that customers are always looking for new things and not necessarily satisfied," said Mateo Marietti. "Even the biggest brands, companies become a tiny fraction (of the market). And to me, that is a sign that consumers always want to try new things."

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ABOUT RESTAURANT INFLUENCERS:

Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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