Momofuku kingpin David Chang’s delivery-only restaurant experiment Ando is done. Less than two years after launching, the company announced Monday that it’s shutting down both its short-lived fast-casual outpost on 14th street and its app. Instead, Ando’s team is integrating with Uber Eats, but food, such as the cheesesteak and fried chicken, will no longer be available starting today.
On Ando’s website, a statement notes that the company’s “team and technology” will still be playing role in looking at the future of delivery. “Even though we’re saying goodbye, we sincerely appreciate you inviting us into your homes and offices,” an email to customers says. Eater has reached out to Ando and Chang for more information.
In a statement, Jason Droege, head of UberEat’s parent department Uber Everything, says: “We are committed to investing in technology that helps consumers, delivery and restaurant partners alike. Ando’s insights will help our restaurant technology team as we work with our restaurant partners to grow their business.”
Things have continuously been somewhat rocky for Ando, which collected $7 million in venture capital funding, including cash from angel investors Jimmy Fallon and Aziz Ansari. It first launched in spring 2016 as a bid to up the delivery game in New York, starting with Midtown East and eventually moving its network downtown.
But the delivery market is tough. Critic Ryan Sutton wrote in a review that he found the food mediocre. Ando had menu revamps, delivery zone changes, and started handing out coupons at one point. In September 2017, the company pivoted, hiring a former Pret executive to be CEO and caving from its “delivery-only” moniker by adding a physical restaurant near Union Square. At the time, CEO Andy Taylor predicted Ando would be profitable by early 2018.
Ando joins a now very long list of failed Silicon Valley-backed delivery-only ventures. Maple, where Chang is an investor, shut down last spring. Over in SF, Sprig, Bento, and SpoonRocket also closed.