Mobile Payments Titan Square Lands Zesty to Step Up Corporate Catering

April 24, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Square is perhaps best known for its mobile payments connections, and its pioneering ability to bring credit card capability to just about anywhere with an internet connection. Square is perhaps less known for its food delivery arm Caviar, and that’s a point that may be about to change. Caviar recently took over Zesty, a corporate catering operation, and now Caviar will be set to deliver not only your lunch, but lunch for the whole office.

Zesty doesn’t prepare its own food like many catering operations do, but rather, it works with area restaurants to provide large batch meal preparation operations. Then it takes these batch-prepared meals to their needed locations.

The exact terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but word is that Square doesn’t consider the terms “material.” Zesty had previously raised $20 million in venture capital, so that may provide an idea of what Caviar ultimately paid. Plus, layoffs appear to be minimal, in a stroke of good news; 30 of Zesty’s full-time employees will make the jump to Caviar as a result.

With Zesty in place, Caviar can ramp up its scale to hit hundreds of people at once. Caviar had group ordering options before, but for much smaller groups. Now Caviar can offer complete set-up and tear-down catering service, which allows it to appeal to a different market. That’s good, because it’s going to need to compete pretty hard to take on both established firms like Grubhub and comparative newcomers like UberEats.

With a lot of competition already in the field, it’s clear that Caviar’s going to really have to pull to take home market share in this field. It may have the secret to doing so, however, in the form of its Square connection and mobile payments. If it can make it not only easy to order in a catered lunch, but make it easy to pay for said catering and get receipts faster—maybe even digital receipts to make the accounting easier and the tax deductions faster—it could have an edge in a growing market.

Only time will tell just how an expanded Caviar will take on the market, but hopefully it will learn a lesson or two from Square proper and make mobile payments a big part of the show.