Startup Catering Service Nude Dude Food Wins a Free Year in a Grubhub Private Kitchen at The Hatchery Chicago®

December 4, 2023

Grubhub surprised all three private kitchen pitch competition runner-ups with FREE private kitchens at The Hatchery for 6 months each.

Grubhub CEO Howard Migdal and The Hatchery/ICNC Chief Strategy & Incubation Officer Natalie Shmulik with Grubhub x The Hatchery’s private kitchen winners © 2023 Galdones Photography

After an evening that saw four Chicago-based food and beverage entrepreneurs present business plans on how they will grow their restaurant concept and share samples of their food at Grubhub x The Hatchery Chicago’s private kitchen pitch competition, Seth Bradley and Ryan Van Voorhis of Nude Dude Food were named the grand prize winners. The competition took place at The Hatchery, a nonprofit incubator dedicated to fostering successful food and beverage businesses on the West Side of Chicago, during it’s annual fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 1.  

Alongside Bradley and Van Voorhis, Anwar Jebran of Honeydoe Authentic Mediterranean, Earl Moore of Uncle Earl’s BBQ, and Valerie Vedral of The Vulgar Vegan also pitched their business concepts at the competition. Three of our four restaurants currently work out of The Hatchery’s shared kitchen. All  finalists brought unique dishes to the table – the catch was samples had to be presented in delivery-friendly packaging to ensure it would be just as tasty at a Grubhub diner’s house as it would at the restaurant. 

To evaluate our finalists, our expert judging panel was made up of Grubhub’s CEO Howard Migdal, two local chefs and business owners Taylor Mason of Taylor’s Tacos and Krissy Ashley of Cleo’s Southern Cuisine, and Chicago-based food influencer Jeremy Joyce of Black People Eats. Our judges took many factors into consideration when selecting our grand prize winner – everything from how they will leverage delivery as a solution and an opportunity to grow their business to the taste and display of their food. 

The judging panel at Grubhub x The Hatchery’s private kitchen pitch competition © 2023 Galdones Photography

The highlight of the first place prize is one year free access to the Grubhub private kitchen at The Hatchery Chicago. While all finalists were meant to go home with a prize of some kind, Migdal shared a surprise when announcing the winners. Because the remaining three finalists’ presentations and food were equally impressive, they all received what was initially meant to be the second place prize – rent-free access to a private Grubhub Kitchen at The Hatchery for six months. 

“This event celebrated the start of Grubhub’s partnership with The Hatchery Chicago, and our shared mission to help local restaurants build and grow successful businesses means we have a lot of exciting work ahead of us too,” said Dave Tovar, Senior Vice President of Communications & Government Relations at Grubhub. “We know how challenging it can be to get started in the restaurant and hospitality business, and are excited to have the opportunity to support our hometown entrepreneurs by providing all four finalists free private kitchen space at The Hatchery.”

All four of the pitch competition finalists will move into their private kitchens at The Hatchery in early 2024. In addition to the private kitchen space, the finalists will receive wraparound support from The Hatchery and Grubhub, including access to schedule a professional food photoshoot, business review check-ins with the Grubhub team, and more. 

While the pitch competition was a big success, Grubhub’s partnership with The Hatchery is just getting started. In addition to providing all finalists rent-free kitchen space, Grubhub is also developing new educational materials to guide entrepreneurs interested in using third-party delivery to grow their businesses, providing philanthropic support through the Grubhub Community Fund to The Hatchery’s Sprouts Incubation program, and working with The Hatchery to improve the onsite delivery pathways so more entrepreneurs operating out of the facility can leverage Grubhub to expand their business. 

Shmulik and Migdal participating in a fireside chat before Grubhub x The Hatchery’s private kitchen pitch competition © 2023 Galdones Photography

“We are beyond excited to work closely with Grubhub to create more streamlined pathways to success for startup food and beverage entrepreneurs in Chicago,” said Natalie Shmulik, Chief Strategy & Incubation Officer, ICNC/The Hatchery Chicago. “The four private kitchens Grubhub awarded our finalists will be instrumental in helping local brands build viable and sustainable businesses. Congratulations to all of the entrepreneurs!”

As we move into 2024, Grubhub looks forward to seeing this exciting partnership with The Hatchery grow while also finding new ways to support independent restaurant owners and help create new opportunities within the hospitality industry in our hometown.