Wondering what’s for dinner? A new food delivery concept gaining momentum in the tri-state area is here to help.
Wonder — a lightning-fast kitchen and delivery service made up of more than unique 15 restaurants, all in one order, all from one place — opened its first 10 locations in New York and New Jersey in 2023. Two of these all-in-one restaurants are in Brooklyn, serving up dishes of all kinds that could make just about any family of picky eaters happy.
Wonder — with locations in Downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope — lets users order different types of cuisine. Its specialized restaurants range in culinary direction, with menus developed by highly recognized chefs, including some of Iron Chef America and other Food Network show fame, such as stars Michael Symon and Bobby Flay. It also includes cuisine from well-loved local staples.
All the food comes from one single kitchen and is prepared by a single staff that goes through two weeks worth of workshops with the chefs.
Sweetening the deal, the business’ CEO has no plans of slowing down this year.
“Nothing goes to the customer until the chefs are happy,” said Daniel Shlossman, Wonder’s chief marketing officer. “They shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the recreated dish to the chef’s dish.”
That is how Wonder has gotten chefs like Jose Andres Puerta — the owner of 25 restaurants and co-chair of President Joe Biden’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition — to participate in the project. Famous Brooklyn restaurateurs from spots like Di Fara Pizza joined, too.
Available cuisine ranges from Texan BBQ and Mexican to Spanish, Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian and more. While some options are only available for lunch, and others for dinner, Wonder’s CMO promises that there’s something for everyone on the extensive, notably convenient menu.
The product is also linked to sustainability. Everything in Wonder’s kitchen is electric and there is “no gas up in flames,” said Shlossman. Most of the business’ packaging is made out of recyclable cardboard and staff sends out compostable utensils. The team at Wonder is committed to donating, composting and decreasing food excess.
By keeping all their operations in one place, Wonder also reduces the carbon footprint of produce suppliers and multiple kitchens.
“The science is in one place,” said Shlossman. “Food needs to be made at different times, at different temperatures and there’s so many dishes that will go out in one same order, but it’s better than having operations running everywhere.”
All of their delivery workers are employed by Wonder exclusively. Shlossman said that is a way for them to guarantee the quality of the delivery.
The company also aims to fill gaps in available cuisine in each neighborhood they open in.
“We are being able to bring restaurants from around the country that are not in New York and with a better-delivering experience,” said Shlossman. “We’ve run focus groups and we’ve studied the difference between what the people in Downtown Brooklyn want and what the people in the Upper West Side want.”
Wonder was founded by Marc Lore, who up until 2021 was the president and CEO of Walmart U.S. e-commerce. Lore was appointed in September 2016 when Walmart bought his company, Jet.com — an e-commerce website just two years old at the time — for a whopping $3.3 billion. Before Jet, Lore was the CEO and co-founder of Quidsi, the company that owned Diapers.com. Quidsi was sold in 2011 to Amazon for $545 million.
Lore launched Wonder in 2018. By 2022, the company was valued at $3.5 billion after a capital raise, according to the Wall Street Journal. The entrepreneur is also currently the owner of the NBA Minnesota team, the Timberwolves.
In Brooklyn, Lore gets his fix at Wonder’s two locations — one in Downtown Brooklyn at 310 Schermerhorn St. and the other at 493 Fifth Ave. in Park Slope. The Downtown Brooklyn location is open for business, and the Park Slope outpost is expected to celebrate its grand opening later this month.