Owner Dustin Hansen created the restaurant delivery company eight months ago after stewing over what to order for delivery and realizing his options were limited. "I had used services like this before, and it seemed like a no-brainer--why not make a delivery service available here?" Today Minneapolis Restaurant Connection has a modest list of 16 restaurants that cover the basics: Italian (Amore Victoria), sushi (Fuji Ya), American (Loring Kitchen), and even Qdoba if you're lusting after a burrito.
Hungry customers can start by either typing in their zip code to find the nearest options--the price for delivery goes up the farther your chosen restaurant is from your house--or by searching by type of cuisine. A helpful map on the site shows exactly how far out Minneapolis Restaurant Connection will deliver, and you can choose when you want the food delivered as well. In fact, if you know you're going to want the Depot's inside out burger on Thursday at 7 p.m., you can pre-schedule your delivery. "It's just like ordering a DVD off the internet," says Hansen.
We hopped on the website and entered the City Pages zip code (55401) and put together an order for Jewel of India. Most restaurants have a $15 minimum, and with the $3.95 delivery charge the cost can add up, but if you're craving vegetable samosas in under an hour without having to exert any effort yourself, it's probably a price you're willing to pay. Minneapolis Restaurant Connection even offers the chance to track your order via text message: The company will update you when the driver gets to the restaurant, when he's en route, and even when the order is complete in case you don't realize you're holding a steaming bag of tikka masala.
Right now Hansen says his clientele is split pretty evenly between corporate customers and regular Joes, and that the weather often plays helpfully into bumping up his business. "When we had that big storm in December we were pretty busy, because who wants to go out when there's two feet of snow and it's four degrees?" When not delivering, Hansen is working on getting more restaurants on board, with a goal of 50. "We're working hard to develop a quality network of restaurants so every neighborhood has 10 to 15 places to choose from in their own area." Of course, a service like this means you don't have to stick to your neighborhood. If you live in southwest Minneapolis and simply have to have the Stadium Village-based Campus Pizza, game on.