The addition of the service on cam- pus is welcome, as the Hamilton food scene can get repetitive quite quickly and the late night options are often limited to one little storefront on the corner of Lebanon and Maple (apologies to those who find joy in the infamous Jug Dog). In Good Uncle, Colgate students have found what they have been waiting for.
The service’s smartphone app allows users to place food orders from anywhere on campus and, within an average range of 10 to 30 minutes, have food delivered to them at a specified drop point. The food is pre-cooked daily in the Good Uncle kitchen in Syracuse, driven to campus, and then assembled in the delivery van when the order is placed. The result is hot food that is delivered quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, the lack of actual human interaction required means that the price of meals is often on par with some of the cheaper restaurants in Hamilton.
Despite operating for just over a month, Founder Wiley Cerilli said Good Uncle has made a considerable mark on campus; nearly 40 percent of Colgate students have ordered from the app – a number that has greatly exceeded the company’s expectations – and many students return to Good Uncle after their first order. The large number of orders has put considerable strain on the Good Uncle system.
“There has been a huge amount of issues because of the overwhelm- ing reception. Busted Tires, batteries out,” Cerilli said.
Cerilli spent a decade at Seamless, which merged with Grubhub in 2013. But Cerilli says improvements to Good Uncle are underway and that this past month has been a learning experience for the young company. Cerilli said he hopes Good Uncle will be the fastest growing startup in the food industry in 2019.
Cerilli came up with the idea for Good Uncle as he saw the world of online interactions changing around him.
“I’ve seen a ton of innovation since we started Seamless, in creating marketplaces. [When] buying airplane tickets, you used to call the airline up [and] each airline had their own website. Now you can go somewhere and see all the prices and buy from a third party. We believe 50 percent of restaurants in ten years will not have storefronts,” Cerilli said. Cerilli said that the decision to come to Colgate was an easy one. “We believe location should not be a limiting factor in you having good food. There are a thousand places we can go that Starbucks can’t. And that’s a very compelling story for investors,” Cerilli said.
On campus, one can see the black Good Uncle van making rounds on most nights.