Food delivery apps have surged in popularity in recent years, and one local restaurateur is looking to capitalize on that demand by forming a service that doubles as an exclusive club for the high-end residents of Newport Beach.
David Osborn launched The Collection 27 at the start of the month as a more upscale version of popular apps like DoorDash or Postmates.
Service for The Collection will be solely focused on Newport Beach to provide a curated experience for affluent residents, company officials said.
Osborn assembled vetted drivers and a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that deliver food from the city’s top 27 five-star restaurants, from steakhouse Mastro’s Ocean Club to popular sushi spot Nobu.
Osborn is keeping things extra exclusive with a cap of around 600 members to ensure high-level service.
The first 100 members will pay a $2,000 initiation fee with $500 monthly dues, with future perks including private chef meals and butchered meat delivery services.
Delivery apps have made it more convenient than ever to have groceries and meals delivered straight to your home.
National industry sales grew by 40% to $2.04 billion this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Osborn noticed, however, that higher-end restaurants weren’t gaining as much from delivery services.
“These restaurants don’t like the way these delivery platforms treat the food,” Osborn told the Business Journal.
He also noticed how lenient the process was to become a driver, and wanted to create a high-quality delivery service that was up to standard with Newport Beach’s fine dining restaurants.
Osborn spent six years creating a private, members-only club with white-glove level service from the food to the vehicles.
In addition to the partnership with Mercedes-Benz, the service plans to partner with outdoor drinkware manufacturer Yeti Holdings Inc. to make custom warmers for an upcoming business program.
Members can customize where they receive their food, including delivery directly to their car while at work so they can go home with a pre-prepared, hot meal.
The Collection 27 also plans to deliver turkeys and Christmas dinners to members’ homes in time for the holiday season.
Osborn started working in restaurants when he was 19 years old.
He spent 10 years at Santa Ana Country Club, eventually becoming one of the youngest clubhouse managers in the nation.
Fine dining has significantly changed since then, according to Osborn.
One of the biggest problems restaurants are facing today is finding properly trained people, he said.
The Collection 27’s drivers will be required to have at least five years of experience and dress in formal attire when delivering food.
“We’re trying to take that country club feel and put it into a delivery setting,” Osborn said.
Osborn was one of the many restaurateurs forced to shutter operations during the pandemic.
He had spent a couple of million dollars on a new restaurant called Outpost Kitchen that was only open for three weeks before closing in 2020.
“I believe we are now starting to recover,” Osborn said of the restaurant industry.
This pushed him to commit full time to The Collection 27 in 2022. Osborn interviewed top restaurant and hotel owners for input when developing the concept.
While restaurants remain busy on the weekends, he hoped that the service would encourage people to order from these nicer restaurants on slower days during the week.
“It’s an opportunity to help keep these restaurants going and serve the community at the same time,” Osborn said.
On average, people spend between $300 to $400 worth of added surcharges monthly on other delivery platforms, Osborn said, such as delivery fees and platform use charges.
The Collection 27’s monthly payment covers these costs.
“It’s very economical for the service that they’re going to be getting,” Osborn said.
The Collection 27 is entirely family owned.
Both Osborn’s children attended culinary school and now help him run the company.
“There’s nothing better than to see them follow in my footsteps wholeheartedly and develop this together,” Osborn said.