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Grad’s business caters to students with the munchies

Photo: Marta Kierkus

With exam season fast approaching, many University of Ottawa students will soon be struggling to cook satisfying meals in between cramming for finals and writing term papers. While unable to help with the studying, a U of O grad’s newest business says it will take care of the cooking.

Goksu Coler, a computer systems engineering graduate from the U of O, is the founder of MunchWagon, a business that delivers your favourite food from the restaurants that don’t already. The startup uses freelance drivers to deliver from various restaurants.

“I was in the customer end of this problem. I wanted to order food from my favourite restaurant… and had no choice but to settle for fast food instead,” said Coler. “Not only did I pay the same price, but I had to settle for lower quality food. This is when I came up with the idea for MunchWagon.”

Many restaurants don’t deliver because the cost of paying drivers outweighs the revenue from delivery. But MunchWagon pays their own drivers, so the restaurants have nothing to lose.

Coler quit his job in Montreal in order to launch MunchWagon, his third startup. The company has been up and running for a few weeks, and continues to add more restaurants to its current catalogue of 29, he said.

Customers make an online profile on the MunchWagon website and then browse meal options from a selection of restaurants. They pay a flat deliver fee of $4.99 that gets charged to their credit card.

It might be familiar to users of Just Eat, which aggregates participating restaurants’ menus into a one-stop shop where customers can find and order food. But Just Eat is a storefront, and only partners with restaurants that offer their own delivery services.

Coler says his business has been going “really well” so far, and that he’s even looking to expand across Canada in the near future. MunchWagon currently only operates in central Ottawa, with no deliveries to Kanata or Orleans.

The company has filled the most orders for The Works and Shawarma Palace, said Coler.

Coler said it’s a service that should appeal to students by bringing even more restaurants directly to their door—and by cutting out all that cooking and cleaning.