The three most convenient food options for travelers in the United States, according to restaurant-trade publication QSR, are Starbucks, Subway, and McDonald’s, presenting many travelers with no choice other than fast food or a bag of Doritos from a vending machine.
Seven years ago, while driving nearly 1,000 miles per week as a Michigan-based salesman, Luke Saunders found himself craving something fresh, like a salad. “I knew I was going to try and fix this problem,” he says.
Saunders founded Farmer’s Fridge in 2013. His first computerized kiosk debuted that year at a Chicago food court with fresh salads layered in clear plastic jars, assembled each morning in a nearby warehouse. Users could return their plastic containers for reuse, and unsold food was donated locally.
More than 200 “fridges” now operate in Chicago and Milwaukee, and Saunders plans to expand across the U.S., powered by a $30 million funding round led by Innovation Endeavors (cofounded by Eric Schmidt) last year.