What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ordering delivery food? For me, it’s delicious pad Thai noodles and a soup that you know would coagulate when cold because of all the fat in it. Not healthy options. And sometimes that’s exactly what you want. But when you don’t feel like cooking or you’re strapped for time or don’t have a lunch break, it’s a shame that you really don’t have too many healthy options for delivery.
A new app called Hasty (a combo of “healthy” and “tasty”) lets you find healthy options nearby. Currently it’s in private beta but I was able to test it out on my iPhone.
First, you’ll launch the app and pinpoint your location on a map. This took some maneuvering of the pin dot on the map to get my address right, but was no big deal at all. The next step was to select filters, like “low carb,” “low fat,” etc. but Hasty updated its app a couple days after I first tested it. The new version allows users to go directly to the list of restaurants. If you want, you can still tap “filter” to narrow down the entrees to get something customized to your diet of choice (which I think is the best aspect of the app). You select your diet restrictions — vegan, vegetarian, low carb, low fat, Paleo, gluten free, high protein or simply “balanced.” You can choose one of those labels or as many as you want. However, the list of available entrees gets smaller the more you choose.
I gave “Paleo” a try and it displayed quite a number of entrees from local restaurants and explained how those dishes would be made in accordance with the Paleo diet, (Huevos Con Loroco without rice and beans). Most entrees didn’t exclude anything and were already Paleo. I switched to vegan and found there were 16 entree options near me. Within the app you can also select “meals” and the app will show you which restaurants are offering lunch or dinner, depending on what time of the day it is.
Now here’s another good feature — you can tap on the image of each entree and see the nutritional information.
The app itself is lovely. Hasty has painstakingly taken a picture of each entree so you can see what you’re getting.
CEO and Founder of Hasty, David Langer, says they work with restaurants to determine the calories in each dish.
Hasty selects a mix of healthy restaurants and also your local non-diet friendly restaurants and selects the healthier menu options for the app, or the restaurants alters the recipe for Hasty clients. The basic criteria for all meals on Hasty is that they don’t contain MSG, no added sugar, minimal salt and minimal oil. Which doesn’t mean the food found on Hasty is necessarily something that could be eaten everyday, but at least you know you’re getting something without a lot of processed ingredients and you see which entrees fit into your preferred healthy eating criteria.
The only downside I see with Hasty is that the delivery minimum is pretty steep for just one meal. With most places having a minimum of $15-$30, with $20 being the most common. Which is not such an issue if you work somewhere where you and your colleagues order lunch together but for a single person ordering it just seems like you’d have to order a lot of food. I guess you could have leftovers? And if I’m going to pay $30 for lunch, I’d rather go out somewhere with a waiter. Langer suggests ordering take-away, that way there are no minimums. He also pointed out that the app features “meals” which come with an entree, plus appetizer and side, and meet the minimum.
“We prioritize meals from restaurants with $15 minimums in the search results so they typically cost $15-17 which we’ve found is an acceptable price point for a lot of people ordering dinner alone,” he says. Langer also suggests rounding-up, as in adding $1-$2 extra on your tab in order to meet the minimum. “..which is cheaper (and healthier!) than adding another item you don’t really need,” he says.
So far there are 25 restaurants on the app. The app is free and users pay the same price for the food as they would ordering from the restaurants directly. Hasty gets paid a commission by the restaurant on every order it sends them. They plan to create an Android app in the future.
You can participate in the private beta of Hasty by signing up on its website. The app will go live in the App Store next month. At first, the app will only be available for San Francisco but eventually it will expand to other cities.
I really like the idea of Hasty. Although a food ordering app is in no way novel, what sets Hasty apart is the idea you can almost mindlessly order your lunch or dinner without having to do too much menu comparison to find something healthy like you would with other food ordering apps. I also like that the nutritional information is easily accessible, again making the process of finding something healthy to eat simple and quick. Hopefully in the future, Hasty will include more restaurants with lower minimums so a solo meal order is easier to find.