As the team awaits the Plated Beyond the Tank episode this Friday, May 8 at 9 EST, we can’t help but think back to Plated’s original Shark Tank appearance in April of 2014.
At the time, we were a small group: about 20 team members huddled around their computers, responding to chats and tweets or the like. The mood was jubilant, if not a little panicked, as we watched the first two companies (Kodiak Cakes and Monkey Mats) deliver their pitches and wait to hear if the sharks were going to bite.
Then it happens: Nick Taranto and Josh Hix, Plated’s co-founders and co-CEOs, appear as they walk down the dimly lit hallway on the Shark Tank set, Plated logos emblazoned on black V-neck shirts. (While this shirt is a staple to Nick’s wardrobe, the audience is unaware that he’s cringing at having to forego the other half of his uniform – a pair of 10 year-old cargo shorts – for pants.)
The two Harvard Business School alums immediately go into their pitch: “By delivering fresh, pre-portioned meals and step-by-step recipes directly to your door each week, we’re going to help Americans eat better, and we have an opportunity to disrupt a multi-billion dollar market. We want $500,000 for 4%.”
So the moment of truth approaches. Is Plated walking away with an offer, or with empty stomachs?
Kevin O’Leary – Kevin seems to think he can replicate the Plated business model easily. We have a feeling this is not the case, and respectfully part ways. He’s out.
Robert Herjavec – Robert does not see the appeal in having food delivered that is not already cooked (we think preparing your meal should be shared experience to enjoy), and thus, he’s out.
Lori Grenier – While Lori does love to cook, she finds grocery shopping to be a part of the experience. She’s out.
Mark Cuban – Mark may not be the Head Chef in his household, but he sees a huge opportunity in the business. He makes an offer.
Nick and Josh accept the $500,000 offer from Mark Cuban for 5.56% stake plus advisory shares (which are used to compensate advisors who bring strategic value to a company).
Back in our NYC headquarters, we’re elated – and then we’re panicked – as we see the traffic surge and then plummet as our website goes down due to the sheer volume of interested users on our page. A hard lesson learned, but apparently you need to plan for a lot of technical maintenance for this type of appearance.
Flash forward to today: With a team of around 100, we’re starting to gear up for Plated’s spotlight on the new series Beyond the Tank on Friday, May 8 at 9 EST. Thanks to the success of Plated’s Shark Tank debut last year, our team has scaled up quite a bit, particularly in our Engineering department. That crew has spent the last few weeks zeroing-in on the infrastructure of our site (don’t fall asleep – the tech talk is over) so that you can keep browsing the menu while you all watch.
Be sure to tune in this Friday, May 8, at 9 EST on ABC to see what Nick, Josh, and the Plated team have been up to in the last year.