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New Coronavirus Strains Found in the U.S.

Yahoo Finance speaks with Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, an Emergency Medicine Physician on the rising deaths due to the coronavirus and how Dollar General is offering workers a new incentive to get the vaccine.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Almost dinnertime, and good eating is on the menu. Let's invite into the stream Mateo Marietti, founder and CEO of CookUnity. This is, I want to say, a platform out of Brooklyn but I imagine nationwide where you unite well-known chefs, premiere chefs, with grunts like me who want to have a good meal and have it sent to the house. Is that essentially what you're doing?

MATEO MARIETTI: Yeah, that's pretty accurate. We're not nationwide yet. We plan to be by the end of this year. We're serving the Northeast region from New York City at the moment. CookUnity is a new, first-of-its-kind chef-to-consumer platform. That's how we call it. The most talented and renowned chefs can now cook your food exceptional hundreds of meals, delivered to your door fresh and ready to eat. We offer weekly meal plans that start at $10.49. We call it the evolution of at-home dining.

SEANA SMITH: Mateo, I think the big question facing your industry right now-- and you are positioned pretty well for the pandemic-- but I think there's going to be a lot of lasting changes when we get to the other side of this pandemic. How do you see the restaurant landscape changing as a result?

MATEO MARIETTI: So we see two fundamental trends-- one that was coming way before the pandemic on the consumer side, which is that consumers are clearly spending less time cooking, especially cooking the daily meal. So customers don't want to spend the one hour or something that requires to grocery shopping, cook, chop, clean, and all that. And they try different solutions, from meal kits that still take time, industrial prepared meals that are sometimes, they find, bland and not great selection of options, or restaurant delivery that is a bit pricey for the daily meal.

So they're looking for a more moderate solution, and we believe that connecting them with real chefs so they can have a more personalized menu and more personalized experience can be the way for them to don't compromise between time, quality, nutrition, and selection of options. On the chef's side, what we're seeing is, as we're all aware, the restaurant industry was hit by this pandemic in a way that indoor dining mainly was limited. And now chefs are looking for alternatives to complement the restaurant.

So we are very bullish on the future of restaurants as a place to meet with people socially, enjoying food. But for a daily meal, for that specific use case, restaurants are not the best option. The restaurants are not designed for that. So we're seeing a lot of chefs exploring new platforms, what we can call mutual brands, so ways to access more customers outside limitations of the restaurant, and cooking it is one of them. So we expect some chefs to completely replace the restaurant or complement the restaurant revenue with us.

ADAM SHAPIRO: And you just completed a $15.5 million fundraising round, so congratulations. If I get a kit, does it come seasoned or do I actually have to do-- I have to do some of the preparation. But these chefs do it much better than we would.

MATEO MARIETTI: That's the point. So we have to do-- the meals come fully ready, fresh, ready to heat up at your own schedule. So the only thing that you need to do is heat it up. So you can do it as quickly as two or three minutes in the microwave or you can follow the chef instructions and use the oven or a skillet. But the food is fully seasoned, prepared. You don't need to do anything if you don't want to.

ADAM SHAPIRO: It sounds a whole lot more appetizing than a Big Mac with a slight reduction sauce. Mateo Marietti, founder and CEO of CookUnity. We wish you all the best, and thank you for joining us.