Food is a language of love. Apart from keeping us alive and nourishing our bodies, food connects, wakes up memories, and brings pleasure.
Goldbelly is a platform connecting customers to their perfect meal. Their secret recipe? Nostalgia. They work with selected companies all over the country to bring "an edible hug" to light up someone's day.
Goldbelly helps small local restaurants to deliver nationwide – meaning, you can be in New York and order from that hidden gem you discovered when on vacation in California! Takeout just got a lot more intriguing.
How Goldbelly Works
With Goldbelly, you can choose between ordering individual meals and signing up for a food subscription. You can filter on region, restaurant, different meal kits, or subscriptions. To date, there are about 500 individual food providers on the platform.
In 2019, the company allegedly had 10,000 requests from restaurants and small businesses in the food industry wanting to sell their products there.
Order your gourmet food and meal kits shipping directly, or with scheduled shipment in up to 60 days.
Most subscriptions give you one delivery per month for your choice of 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. You can also choose a recurring monthly subscription. Bear in mind that once you sign up for the subscription service and pay for the whole period, you can't cancel and get reimbursed. Goldbelly does, however, substitute damaged products at no extra cost.
If you sign up for a subscription of a fixed number of months, the subscription will automatically renew for the same number of months once it's finished.
In case you prefer to quit the subscription once it has been renewed, make sure to do so during the first month for the 3-month subscription and within the first 2 months for the longer subscriptions.
If you've placed a one-time order, and the delivery is three or more days away, you can cancel your order without the need to contact customer support. Check your confirmation email and do the following steps:
- Click the "Check Status" button in your confirmation email.
- Click the arrow button next to your order number. If you can't see an arrow button to the top right of your order, that means that it's too late to cancel.
- Click "Cancel Order".
- An overlay shows up. Click on "Yes, Cancel Items".
- Your order is now canceled!
If your order is shipping in less than three days, you'll need to submit a cancellation request to customer service, and they'll do what they can to help you.
What You Can Expect From Your Meal
Goldbelly is very picky with who they work with. They are profiling themselves as a premium platform, with local and iconic delicacies that are difficult to find elsewhere. Their idea is not to be the fastest nor the cheapest — but the best.
Are you after the best lobster rolls, New York-style pizza, cream cheese bagel, or key lime pie? Then Goldbelly has got something for you! This is authentic food at its best, far from the more ordinary options you can find at regular food delivery services.
Some of the famous restaurants they collaborate with, and that can send you fresh food and meals directly to your doorstep:
As you can see, Goldbelly is extremely selective with whom they work with, and only chooses the crème de la crème of top chefs and award-winning restaurants! Expect a taste sensation with each bite.
Looking for a Gift?
Many of their products are packages suitable for gifting and are more about having an experience than just feeling full. Packages often come with more than just food. As an example, they can contain an apron, a legendary t-shirt, and other items invoking nostalgia in the recipient.
More than anything, Goldbelly is about food experiences waking up memories from your childhood village, the big city vacation, or that unforgettable weekend by the ocean when you visited a local seafood restaurant.
If you're looking to send a gift, note that it's up to you to notify the recipient to be at home for the delivery. If they're not there to receive it, and the driver judges it to be too risky to leave the package unattended, you risk having to pay extra fees for another delivery.
Goldbelly can accommodate requests for corporate gifts. Want to send a gift with your company's logo? It's perfectly possible for most restaurants! Forget about boring gift baskets – with Goldbelly, you can find a personalized gift that will be remembered for a long time! You also have the option to send a customized gift card for the recipient.
You can also select to send gifts to multiple recipients at once. A great idea to celebrate your team's latest wins! You can handle up to 10 addresses at a time from your backend, while orders of 11 and more require you to email customer support.
A cool feature with Goldbelly is that you can reach out to their team if you want help to select corporate gifts. Simply indicate how many gifts you're looking to buy, and what your budget is, and they'll hook you up with the perfect match!
The Goldbelly team taste-tests every single item in their assortment. Products are evaluated based on flavor, texture, aesthetic, and uniqueness before getting granted a spot in the limelight on Goldbelly. Besides, they regularly test shipping methods and packaging to ensure the optimal practices are used for each item.
Goldbelly offers food from the following categories: Sweets, Bread & Bagels, Deli, Pizza, Meats & Barbecue, Seafood, and Sides. You can also find holiday specials and gifts.
Some examples from each category:
When it comes to actual dishes, Goldbelly brings you classics such as Philly Cheesesteak, Texas BBQ, pillowy biscuits with homemade jam from Loveless Cafe, and Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
Since Goldbelly is a connection platform, they do not stock and deliver any food themselves – everything is hand-packed and shipped from the respective restaurants. The food delivery thus depends on what products you order. Some items are shipped frozen, while others arrive at you fresh. Ice packs or dry ice can be used to keep frozen food cold during transit.
Everything you find on Goldbelly is handmade, packed, and shipped specifically to the needs of that product to make sure you'll receive the freshest, most delicious food. You find prep/storage instructions included in each order.
Goldbelly ships nationwide, from east coast to west coast. At the moment, they don't ship overseas.
Delivery time depends on your order and where you live. As soon as you enter your address at the checkout, the estimated delivery time will show up.
Do I Need to Sign?
For deliveries not containing alcohol, there's no need to sign the package. However, if you're not at home, it's up to the discretion of the driver to decide whether or not it's safe to leave the package outside your door. If you know you won't be at home to pick up the package, it might be a safer bet to order it at your office.
Note that within a certain delivery window, you have the possibility to schedule when you want to receive your package.
All items on Goldbelly are final sale and thus non-refundable. The exception is items that have been damaged during transit, or if there has been an error in the making of your order. If so, contact their customer service within 14 days of reception, and they'll find a way to compensate you.
Through their website (goldbelly.com), you can easily reach out to customer service and submit a help request. They're happy to support you in questions about existing orders, products, and more.
Note that due to local agricultural laws, many fresh items are not possible to ship to Arizona and California.
Goldbelly lets you order from regional, iconic restaurants to get your hand on products you won't find elsewhere. You can choose between a single delivery of the quality products of your choice or to sign up for a subscription ranging between 3 and 12 months. A Goldbelly package or subscription is also a perfect gift for a foodie of your liking!
When you order, your products are shipped directly from the respective restaurant, meaning no detour via a head office that costs money and time. This also means that shipping times vary depending on where you live and what restaurant you order from.
Goldbelly also specializes in corporate gifts. Send multiple gifts at once, and take help from their support team to select the perfect presents for your company!
Since 2017, the Goldbelly headquarters have been located in New York City, after 4 years in San Francisco. That said, they don't have a central storage from which they ship – products are shipped directly from the local restaurants to your doorstep, for a smoother and quicker experience.
The shipping time depends on the venue you order from, as well as where you live. When you enter your address at checkout, the delivery dates available are shown, together with the cost for each date. Many of the venues on Goldbelly offer next-day delivery.
Some of the venues and restaurants ship their food fresh, while others ship to you frozen – in that case, ice packs or dry ice is used to keep the items cold before they reach your door.
Even though the food can stay fresh while waiting for you to get home, it's advisable to unpack it and put it in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible.
Goldbelly was founded by Joe Ariel in 2013. Joe Ariel is still the CEO. The company received $20 million in investment from Danny Meyer in 2018. Fun fact: the investment came through after Meyer received an unsolicited delivery of a six-pack of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard shipped from his hometown St Louis.
As often is the case, a business idea arises from the will to solve a problem – often one that the founder has encountered in their life. So is also the case for Goldbelly.
It was allegedly Joe Ariel’s own nostalgia that gave the inspiration to launch Goldbelly. Being a college student in Nashville, Ariel had Southern food for the first time – something he described as "a life-changing experience." He developed an emotional connection to the places serving his new favorite foods.
10 years later, when living in New York, Ariel couldn’t get Loveless Cafe biscuits or Prince’s Hot Chicken. His cravings were so strong that he would persuade his friends into shipping him platefuls of food overnight.
The strong emotions that followed when unwrapping and indulging in his long-lost favorites gave rise to an idea: why not leverage this emotional connection and upend the prevailing online food delivery models? What if a marketplace wasn’t just about getting you the fastest or cheapest food – but about bringing you the best?
Pros & Cons
Goldbelly is a premium service, not meant to substitute your everyday dinners – but rather to get your hands on food that tells a story. Food items that evoke memories and emotional connections. The products you find on Goldbelly are carefully selected before they make it to the platform – many times, you can't order them elsewhere.
A gift basket or subscription from Goldbelly is thus the ultimate personal gift to someone. Send them their favorite cookies or cake from their hometown, or the ultimate BBQ experience not available to shop for in their state. What can be a sweeter gift than one that evokes emotions of affection and happiness from reminiscing good old times?
You can choose between a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription.
With over 500 restaurants, you have plenty of choices – if anything, your risk getting overwhelmed rather than disappointed!
Pre-paid subscriptions can't be canceled. They also auto-renew, meaning you have to remember to cancel them yourself should you not wish to continue.
At the time of writing, subscription boxes cannot be customized for food allergies and dietary requirements.
Food for Thought
Goldbelly is an excellent platform to shop for unique and thoughtful gifts. While it might not be your go-to place for shopping weekday dinners, it's the place for those iconic, hard-to-come-by products that serve as a lot more than nourishment: Goldbelly offers food that makes your heart and soul sing by evoking happy memories.
Goldbelly is thus the perfect match for those looking for a personal and authentic gift that will make the recipient genuinely happy.