As Chapel Hill braced for an unusual beginning to a new semester in late August, the Town also saw the arrival of a new food delivery service: Good Uncle.
Good Uncle operates solely within university communities and delivers its own food. According to the company’s website, all food is produced fresh in regional kitchens, loaded into refrigerated vehicles and then cooked on-board the vehicles when orders are placed. Caroline Jones, Good Uncle's campus lead for UNC, said this is something the company takes pride in.
“Good Uncle is unique in that it serves its own food, different from places like Postmates that deliver restaurant foods,” Jones said.
Jones is a senior at UNC and joined Good Uncle in early August. The delivery service's official launch in Chapel Hill was Aug. 22.
Jones said Good Uncle had concerns that there would be a loss of business when coronavirus clusters surged in the first couple weeks of the semester, resulting in remote undergraduate instruction and the shutdown of on-campus housing.
“But we found that a lot of UNC students migrated off campus and there's still a ton of UNC students in the area," Jones said. “They have really enjoyed Good Uncle. They think it's a really cool service.”
Jones stressed the importance of safety and Good Uncle’s adherence to COVID-19 precautions.
“All of our drivers are wearing masks and being careful to make it kind of as contactless as possible," Jones said. “Even though you're coming to the trunk or meeting a deliverer, still everything is entirely outside.”
As the service does not deliver directly to people’s doors, Good Uncle has predetermined points for pick-up throughout UNC and Chapel Hill, located on campus and near apartment complexes and neighborhoods with student housing.
"We work really closely with apartment complexes in the area because so many of our drop points are located at apartment complexes to kind of serve the students that live off campus right now,” Jones said.
Kenneth Smith, a senior at UNC, said he's enjoyed getting food delivered from Good Uncle.
“I think it’s a great, healthy food option on campus, and I love how affordable and timely it is," Smith said. "I get it about two times a week because of the variety and because it is so convenient."
UNC junior Cienna Romahn said Good Uncle seems to have a good business plan. But Romahn, who eats a vegan diet, voiced concerns about Good Uncle’s lack of an accommodating menu.
“I noticed they barely have any vegan options, unless you remove cheese from a salad or do something like that," Romahn said. "That could be something worth addressing because we have a pretty large vegan population here that they are not catering to.”
Good Uncle updates its menu about every two weeks, Jones said. She said more information about Good Uncle’s menu options can be found through downloading the Good Uncle app.
She said students will be able to spot the Good Uncle truck around town by its noticeable features. The truck is black with lights inside, and has "Good Uncle" written on the front.
"It's a really noticeable truck," she said.
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