So you’re having your loved ones (or not so loved ones) over for a good old fashioned holiday dinner when you realize you’ve never been able to cook something edible in your life (save the odd grilled cheese), the only thing on your bar cart is a bottle of Steel Reserve, and you never quite got around to decorating. Five years ago, you probably would have been SOL, but with D.C.’s boom in delivery apps, all you have to do is press a few buttons on your phone and a warm meal / good bottle of wine / Christmas tree is on the way. Welcome to the future. No human interaction necessary.
Automating the food…
Galley is a service that’s marketed to professionals, the kind of people that are so busy with their business life that they don’t have the time or energy to worry about cooking meals and cleaning up. So expect meals to lean on the healthier side. There food options change daily, and this morning their offering a variety of meals, from a super food salad to Chesapeake crab cake. Unlike many other food delivery services, Galley has a family style / large format meal option right on their page. Today’s family meal is a lemon herb chicken that will run you $54. Of course, if their dedicated option doesn’t interest you, you can order multiple servings of any other item available. It let me put 15 noodle stir fry’s ($15) in my cart before it claimed to have “sold out”, which should be enough for most parties (unless you have an ungodly number of friends). Prices range from $8-$16.
If you have no interest in fooling your friends into thinking the meal in front of them is homemade, then just order some Shake Shack and be done with it. Your friends will thank you, your family will thank you, and you’ll be able to enjoy your Shackburger (or Shroomburger in my case) without have to waiting in line or traveling all the way to Dupont / Navy Yard / Union Station. The holidays are a festive time where you can treat yourself without feeling like you’ve made a bad decision. Make the most of it. Caviar also has catering options, if you’d like them to bring you a huge spread of items instead of ordering individual servings. Delivery fees start at $1.99, but it depends on the restaurant.
Like Caviar, DoorDash will essentially let you order form anywhere in the city. Want to serve up some delicious Indian food from Rasika to your whole family? Totally doable. As long as you have the money to pay for the delivery fees, the world is your oyster. DoorDash also has a great and very easy to use scheduling function. Put your order in in the morning and you can scheduling things to show up between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. or whenever else you need them. Keep in mind, that it seems like DoorDash doesn’t have a catering option, so if you’re looking to buy a full spread from Amsterdam Falafel or the like, look elsewhere.
Hungry teams up with chefs in the area to create fresh and delicious meals at various levels of health. You could get chicken and quinoa, or go a little crazy and grab a bunch of kathi rolls. Regardless, it’s probably going to be good. The menu changes daily, but there are a few staples, like the aforementioned kathi rolls. HUNGRY also has an office catering option, and it’s unclear if they would allow you to use that to section of the site to have things catered to your home, but even if it isn’t possible, just grab a couple of single servings, plat them before your guests arrive and you’ll look impressive as hell.
Remember when we would describe delivery startups by saying they’re the uber of food or the uber of delivery or whatever? Well now, Uber is the Uber of food. The car service company has partnered with a slew of different restaurants. This morning, there are only a couple of places open, but order a little later in the day, and you should have plenty of options. The people I know who use UberEats love it and I’ve been told more than once that food delivered by UberEats tends to turn up warm and better packaged than most other delivery places. UberEats also claims to bring your your food pretty quickly, so if you’re ordering on the fly, this is probably your best choice.
Eat24 / GrubHub / Seamless
You know all of these companies. You’ve used them all to various degrees of success before. I don’t have to explain to you the merits of using GrubHub.
Do you actually want to make a homemade meal, but hate going grocery shopping? Then Instacart is exactly what you’re looking for. Just throw in the food you’re looking for and Instacart promises to delivery your groceries within one hour. This is perfect for the kind of person who is only kind of lazy. You also get free delivery on your first order.
Automating the booze…
Depending on the kind of party you’re throwing, it’s easy to argue that the booze is almost more important than the food. Drizly claims to have the largest selection available, and also has a variety of mixers, garnishes, and general party supplies. Popping over to the whiskey section, they had a decent selection of rye’s from High West to Whistlepig, to whatever else. They also have a few local options, like Green Hat gin. They even offered the Navy Strength and the Summer / Spring varieties. There wine seems to traverse a variety of price points as well, and when it comes to beer, they have your Bud Light and your Miller, but I was also able to find 3 Stars Peppercorn Saison, a bunch of DC Brau, and more local craft options.
Klink doesn’t seem to have quite the breadth of options Drizly has, but they still have quite a solid store to choose from and promise to have deliveries to you in an hour tops. From Bell’s to Budweiser, to Atlas, they have a very solid beer selection. They also have Catoctin Creek whisky. If you really want to focus on local beers / wines / liqours I would go with Klink. The local stuff seems to be plentiful and is a little easier to find that in Drizly’s large menus.
Minibar has a similar set up to Klink and Drizly, but they promise to have an even faster delivery time. Minibar says if can get your your booze between 30 minutes and an hour, so if you’re on a schedule and need a bottle of Grey Gooze ASAP, I would probably go with them a hope your delivery will be closer to the 30 minute mark. They also have a holiday shop filled with things they recommend you give as gifts, which is helpful if you don’t know too much about imbibing.
Automating the decor…
DC Tree Delivery
This local startup is making it dumb easy to have a Christmas tree delivered to your home. A basic delivery ($89 – $134) includes a tree with a fresh cut base delivered right at your door. If you’re super lazy, you can go for the deluxe ($119 – $169) which includes installation and they’ll even vacuum up the mess for you. For a flat fee of $45 (regardless of the size of your tree) they’ll remove your tree and are even working with D.C. parks to have trees transformed into usable mulch and who doesn’t love recycling?
Plan on gifting a friend / family member / enemy with something large and bulky? Don’t worry about having friends over to help you move it, let PockitShip do all the work. They specialize in delivering bulky objects (weighing less than 300 pounds). They’ll pick up items from stores and even grab things bought on Craigslist for you (so you no longer have to worry about getting murdered while trying to get a sweet TV for cheap). They’ll also haul things to donation centers if you’re feeling extra charitable.
If you want to brighten up a space and make it look less like you just cleaned it an hour ago, then hop on Urban Stems and order yourself some damn flowers. There new “Tinsel Collection” has a variety of seasonally appropriate flowers that would be great for a centerpiece (like real adults have at real adult parties). There are even wreaths if you want to decorate the outside. Prices range from $35 – $70.
Automating your face…
Before you have a bunch of people over you’re house, you’re going to want to look good. Skip the beauty counter at the mall (come on, you’re not going to prom) and instead have a quality stylist come to your home. From hair to makeup, Stylisted can connect you with a professional who will make you look good. People take a lot of pictures during the holiday season. Make sure you look hot as hell in all of them.
After the last weird drunk has left and the dishes are all cleared away, you’re going to be tired (and probably drunk). Treat yourself the next day to a sweet at home massage. Zeel offers a variety of massage services, depending on what you’re into. Just select what you’re interested in and enjoy a spa experience from the comfort of your home. Never forget to treat yourself.