Corporate caterer HUNGRY has landed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies for the second year in a row – and executives expect to continue triple-digit growth in the coming year. The company ranked No. 1,218 and joins household names like Pandora, Zappos, Microsoft, Patagonia and others.
“We not only survived, but we thrived during the pandemic by pivoting and creating two great new businesses – a Last Mile food delivery service and a virtual experience/event service,” said HUNGRY Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Grass. “This year, in conjunction with the start of the return to office, we expanded to six new markets – Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Nashville, Chicago and Salt Lake City.”
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., HUNGRY launched in 2017 and now serves more than 15 major markets where it focuses on corporate catering and events and leverages the talents of local chefs and restaurants. But the company has also made a point to diversify its offerings and respond to market trends as employees have shifted between working at home, working in the office and now navigating hybrid workplaces.
In 2019, HUNGRY was growing at triple-digit rates, but the pandemic quickly crushed revenues months later. In response, HUNGRY launched new service lines and saw a rebound. Now, it has more than triple the size of its pre-pandemic business and is breaking sales records monthly.
When it acquired healthy and clean snack foods company NatureBox in May 2022, the purchase marked the third acquisition in as many years.
Grass noted that while not all companies have returned to the office, HUNGRY has seen demand for office-based food and events service grow 500% in the first half of this year.
“We do believe the new normal will be hybrid – some work in the office and some work at home,” he added. “HUNGRY is now really well positioned to serve our clients in both places.”
Virtual Xperiences, SnackPass and Last Mile delivery services provide great experiences for people at home, he said, while office catering, live events, office pantry and cafes and coffee bar solutions serve people in the office.
There is also a growing move away from demand for individually-packaged, single-serving food to buffet-style catering.
“The food quality and variety is just so much better with buffet style,” Grass said, “plus, it’s way better for the environment.”
The Inc. 5000 list has been produced every year since 1982 and analyzes company data to identify the country’s most booming businesses. Winning companies will be recognized at the Inc. 5000 Conference and Gala on Oct. 19-21 in Phoenix, Arizona.
“We were completely blown away when HUNGRY debuted on the Inc. 5000 list in 2021, so to repeat that achievement again in 2022 is just an amazing accomplishment for our exceptional team,” Grass said. “We’ve moved beyond a pandemic success story and have turbocharged our business into a whole new realm.”
HUNGRY plans to roll out a new office pantry solution for clients that includes exclusive access to NatureBox snacks. Next year, the company plans to expand to between six and nine new markets while continuing to provide top-notch services to its existing client base.