Students to the Rescue
We all know that restaurants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers and service industry professionals have been twisting themselves into knots trying to keep diners and workers safe so that your favorite eateries can stay open.
In Tallahassee, help arrived from an unexpected source: FSU basketball players.
Four young Seminoles–Harrison Prieto, Wyatt Wilkes, Will Miles, and Jake Seaman–combined their entrepreneurial forces to create a new business called StayingIn.
“When we returned to campus [in the fall of 2020],” Harrison says, “we noticed a lot more people getting takeout or staying at restaurants for a lot less time.” Food kit and meal delivery services have thrived during quarantine, but they also increase costs to consumers, restaurants, and the environment. What if there were a third option?
StayingIn combines the best of both worlds. A website lets you order lightly prepped, portioned ingredients (such as pre-mixed spice blends) to make your favorite dishes from local restaurants. You can pick up the food or have it delivered the next day. Then, you watch videos, filmed by the StayingIn crew, showing the actual restaurant chef preparing the meal so that you can follow along at home, replicating the dish.
It’s this touch that makes StayingIn stand out from competitors–that, and the fact that its founders aren’t motivated by profit-seeking. They’ve designed StayingIn to benefit local restaurants more than themselves: meal costs are identical to menu prices, and 85% of the profits go straight to the eateries.
While Harrison and Wyatt finish their degrees at FSU, recent graduates Will and Jake plan to expand the business into the Orlando market. The four hope to grow StayingIn statewide.