d’Livery brings local options to NOLA food delivery services
Speaking with business owner Stephen Bandi, it’s obvious he’s an innovator. What started as a way to easily deliver juice for his juice bar business, d’Juice, has evolved into d’Livery, an app that Bandi and business partner Andrew Herrington hope to change for the better. the food delivery landscape.
A truly local food delivery app
Bandi first came up with the idea when he developed a text messaging system, and ultimately an in-house app, so that juice could be easily delivered to customers at his juice bar. He then began to extend the idea to businesses located around the Magazine Street store. He found that restaurants liked the idea of food delivery, but didn’t like the high fees that apps like UberEats charge restaurants.
“These apps take up to 30% of the revenue and that reduces the restaurant’s profit,” Bandi explained.
Determined to do something about it and help restaurants, Bandi launched d’Livery, a New Orleans-based food delivery app, in July 2019.
“Our goal is the delivery of food to local restaurants – not fast food,” he said. “Local restaurants work with a small staff, so every dollar counts. We wanted to create a system where we could get food from the restaurant to the customer in the most efficient and affordable way possible. “
Delivery during a pandemic
When the app first launched, Bandi and Herrington picked the restaurants they wanted on the platform and chased them down. However, during the pandemic, everything changed. Because food delivery has become the easiest way for people to enjoy their favorite restaurants, the app has exploded.
“When takeout and delivery became the way for people to ‘dine,’ restaurants wanted to be part of the app to connect with customers,” Bandi said.
Not only has the app become a lifeline for those who have been unable to leave their homes due to the pandemic, D’Livery has worked to bring meals to those who desperately need them during a difficult time.
“We worked with Chef’s Brigade and Revolution Foods for a COVID mass food initiative,” Bandi said. “In the past 12 months, we’ve made over 400,000 home food deliveries. “
The team is working on the same initiative in cities like Nashville and Seattle.
On July 12, Delivery’s app further reduced restaurant fees, with the guarantee that customers will also get the best deal on their food deliveries.
Bandi explained, “We’re going to have a flat delivery charge of $ 2.95 per restaurant. Other delivery apps include hidden charges that can add up, and customers are often overcharged to cover these charges. Sometimes the price on the menu on the site [for delivery] is a dollar or two more than what you would see on the restaurant menu. We do not allow a difference between restaurant and online menu prices.
In addition to reduced rates for restaurants and balanced prices for customers, D’Livery charges the customer for “time and distance”. In other words, the delivery costs are the same regardless of the price of the food order or the quantity of food ordered. While other delivery apps adjust their fees based on menu prices and the amount of food ordered, D’Livery charges a more user-friendly flat rate.
Bandi and Herrington are also expanding Delivery’s system to include phone orders, as the team realizes that not everyone is used to the apps.
“Everyone wants the app to be the solution, but you can’t solve every problem with a computer,” Bandi explained. “Sometimes you need a little human intelligence. If you deliver food to food insecure people, you need to provide options for people. If you rely on food for a living, you need to be able to talk to a local person live. If you have an issue with an UberEats delivery, it may take 2 days for it to be resolved, and that’s unacceptable.
What’s next for d’Livery
Other changes to the app include opening the app to non-restaurant merchants. While this part of the app is still in its early stages, Bandi is hoping local businesses will join in.
“We see this as a way to encourage people to buy locally, rather than from Amazon,” he said.
The app has also launched a “concierge” system on its website and in the app where customers can communicate with a virtual “help desk” from 7am to 10pm. The service is there to resolve issues or just help make last minute restaurant reservations. .
“We invite people to use us to find solutions to anything from losing keys or booking hotels or concerts,” Bandi said. “Let’s say you want Maroon 5 to play your daughter’s birthday party. I’m not saying we can absolutely do it, but we’ll try to find a way to make it happen.
Bandi said he and his team are having fun trying to solve problems and are always thinking of ways to improve Delivery’s system. He knows that drivers are one of the most important parts of a successful delivery business.
“We wake up every day with the desire to take care of our customers and drivers,” he explained. “We offer paid leave to drivers: the more they work, the more they earn. We want drivers to know that they are a valuable part of our business; we are building a sustainable business that everyone can benefit from.
Bandi said D’Livery, which has even expanded its delivery services to on-site sale at NOLA Gold Rugby matches and plans to expand its delivery app to Baton Rouge, is up to any challenges that arise. present to them.
“We are logistics providers,” he said. “Tell me what you need me to do – every day we are ready to try something new.”