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10 Questions with Dan Schuman, Metro General Manager of Caviar Miami

Caviar at the office

You know the feeling: You’re hungry, you want good food, and you want it delivered—now! And, most likely, you’ve known the feeling of a food delivery gone awry: Did it take forever to arrive? Did they forget something? Was the pizza box turned upside down?

You can now kiss those delivery woes goodbye with Caviar, a fresh delivery service that gives customers access to dozens of local restaurants, where quick and reliable delivery isn’t just expected, it’s required.

Founded in San Francisco in 2012, Caviar has since taken off in major cities around the U.S. It was introduced to Miami in late 2014 by Dan Schuman, a former NYC restaurant owner who had long used the service for his own business. We had the chance to talk with this newly transplanted Miamian about the delivery service, what makes it unique, and how he plans to grow the brand in the future.

1. How did the idea for Caviar come about? Tell us about its mission.
Caviar was founded by a team of passionate foodies looking to have something great delivered for lunch. Tired of ordinary delivery options, they realized that none of the best restaurants offered delivery. After speaking with local restaurants, they learned that many didn’t offer delivery because it was expensive, complicated, and time-consuming. The team realized that creating a large delivery network could help each restaurant not only offer delivery, but also better market themselves to reach new customers and grow their sales.

Caviar’s mission is to make delivery easy for customers and businesses everywhere. We work with the best restaurants to offer quick and reliable local delivery service. In Miami, this means partnering with places such as Sparky’s Roadside BBQ, American Social, db Bistro Moderne, Hannya, Ironside Pizza, and PM Fish & Steak House, among others.

2. What sets Caviar apart from other delivery services?
High-quality partners set us apart. We work closely with each partner through every step of the process to ensure that customers have the best meal, every meal. We also photograph each dish for our site and apps, so customers can see every item on a restaurant’s menu—from the decadent grilled cheese sandwiches from Ms. Cheezious, to the tempting slices of pie from Fireman Derek’s—before placing their order.

A few other features that our customers love include:
Pre-Order: Customers can order for ASAP or a week in advance, which is great for planning dinner and events.
Shared Carts: Customers can share their carts, which is perfect for large groups and catering, where people may have dietary preferences or restrictions.
GPS: Customers can track their order via GPS on a map so they always know when to expect their meal.

3. Tell us about your background. You were once an attorney in NYC … How did you go from law into food?
I am originally from Wisconsin and have lived in several other cities. While in New York, I practiced law, then founded and developed a restaurant concept called 5oz. Factory. Needless to say, I was busy!

4. How does your experience with 5oz. Factory translate to your current position at Caviar?
5oz. Factory was actually an early adopter of Caviar and our primary revenue generator came from delivery. My experience using Caviar as both a customer and a business owner provided invaluable insight for my current role at Caviar Miami and has helped me to anticipate partner concerns, provide solutions to the challenges they face, and help them leverage Caviar to improve their operations, grow their sales, and reach more customers here in Miami.

5. How does your knowledge of Miami help you in your current role?
I moved down to Miami 10 months ago with two suitcases and a winter jacket—which it turns out, I will never need! I quickly became a student of the Miami dining scene. I’ve walked virtually every block of the city, maintain detailed restaurant notes, and have very close relationships with every restaurant that we partner with. I want all of our partners to know that I’m here for them 24/7.

6. Describe what a typical workday is like for you.
I have three main focus areas: restaurants, customers, and couriers. When it comes to restaurants, I’m focused on maintaining great relationships with the restaurants we have. I regularly check in on our partners and answer any questions that come up. I’m responsible for bringing on new partners, so I’m always on the lookout for local spots that might add value to our customer base here in Miami. I also work on hiring the best team of couriers we can find. I stay on top of customer feedback and often reach out to let them know we’re pleased to have their business in Miami and that we’ll continue to focus on delivering great meals to them across the city.

7. How do you think the dining scene in Miami has evolved over the years? Where do you see it heading?
I’m confident that Miami will continue its explosion of restaurants fueled by homegrown culinary talent, citywide growth, and new consumer technology. The proliferation of apps and the on-demand economy has made it easier than ever for customers to get what they want at the push of a button. Caviar eases the challenge for businesses by offering access to a network of couriers and enabling customers to order from the best restaurants in town without any hassle or limitations.

8. What are your plans for Caviar Miami in the future?
Our focus for the remainder of this year is to continue to add more great restaurants in Miami, bring our service to more customers across the city, and make our service more efficient than ever before.

9. Do you have a personal favorite restaurant in Miami?
After a long day of work, my go-to is usually sushi.

10. One guilty pleasure food you can’t live without?
Being from the Midwest, I remain a “meat and potatoes” guy at my core. I’m also sucker for any type of good burger! While I still favor a few Wisconsin burger spots that will forever be my favorites, I’m thrilled that Miami also boasts some gourmet burgers that are worth writing home about—including the Tuna Burger from PM Fish & Steak and the Salmon Burger from NOA Café.

By Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

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