Adam Roussos wants to change the way you order takeout and delivery.
“If I can get you the food you want, if you can order your food faster, my job is done,” he said.
Roussos, founder and “chief eater” of tkout.com (pronounced takeout), is hoping to revolutionize the online food ordering process and help people find a better meal.
“If you’ve ever done any sort of online food ordering, there’s a multitude of sites you can place your order,” he said. “There’s a lot of fractioning — Grubhub, Foodler and more. ... I want to pick up my smartphone and have access to every kind of takeout food.”
He was inspired to create the site while working in Washington, D.C., and being frustrated by seeing a small section of restaurants with each site.
“I want food, I don’t care about the brand,” he said. “To me, GrubHub and Seamless are a bit like FedEx — I only care about them as long as it works out.”
To achieve his goals, he and his team in Reston put together a site that searches for restaurants in an area, or by type of food, across several different food ordering sites. Once you’ve found a restaurant you want to order from, tkout redirects you to it to place your order.
“We aggregate about a dozen different takeout and delivery restaurant sites, about 600,000 restaurants across the U.S.,” he said. “Much the same way Kayak is an aggregator for transportation. That’s really what we did — a destination for people to come to for food.”
Roussos funded the initial investment to get the site up and running, and said he was in the process of closing a larger piece of funding to help maintain the site. Right now, tkout is Web-only, but is optimized for mobile browsers. An app version is in the works, but Roussos wasn’t sure when it might be available.
The site, which has only been live for about three weeks, already has produced a strong customer response, with about 1,500 users signed up. Some people have even volunteered their services to help make the site grow. Roussos said he was blown away by the responses.
“I’ve never produced something that someone was calling us up with suggestions,” he said. “I didn’t even know this was possible. People are just rabidly interested in what you’re doing for no compensation.”
The site also is curated by the community, Roussos said, allowing users to make edits and correct errors if they are found, add data that might be relevant, or even just post a better picture of a restaurant or dish.
He said the site is frequently getting signups from employees at sites like GrubHub that his site points to, but he hasn’t yet heard any feedback from food-ordering sites.
“At the end of the day, we’re making them money,” he said. “They’re benefiting directly from that. Our idea is to help people find food.”