LoCo Co-ops was created by Jon Sewell, a restaurant owner in Iowa City, Iowa. Sewell started a delivery co-operative when the behemoth online and mobile food-ordering company GrubHub bought out the OrderUp! service that had been operating in Iowa City and proposed to double the commission rates it charged local restaurants.
The rate hike would deal a harsh blow to restaurants in Iowa City, and rumors held that some may even have to close their doors in response. Seeing an opportunity to help, Sewell set up a model familiar to him from his background as a health care executive: a business owned by a collaborative group of the main stakeholders, the way hospitals shared mobile MRI machines. Sewell approached other restaurant proprietors in town to become co-owners of what became the city’s first delivery co-op.
After refining the concept with the launch of a second delivery co-op in Fort Collins, Colorado, Sewell founded LoCo Co-ops to share this locally owned model with communities of restaurant owners across the United States and internationally.
LoCo believes in creating a fair and sustainable alternative to the companies that are currently setting the tone of food delivery nationwide. We believe that restaurant owners themselves should be involved the decision-makers for how their food is delivered, and that they should also be charged commission rates that are fair—unlike the current national rates, which are way above most independent restaurants’ margins.
Lastly, LoCo believes that food delivery is an extension of the onsite service restaurants provide. When delivery is handled by an off-site, third-party company, customer service suffers. LoCo focuses on providing a quality customer experience and aims for total customer satisfaction, just as any restaurant would.
If you are looking to develop a co-op in your town or city, we’re here to help!
Jon had a 30-year career as a Health Care Executive in the nonprofit Hospital sector before retiring. During this time, Jon set up over 20 multi-hospital co-op ventures.
For the past seven years he’s owned a restaurant in Iowa City, and for the past three years has successfully set up two Third Party Delivery Service co-ops with a total of 70 restaurant partners in Iowa City, IA and Fort Collins, CO. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MBA from Wayne State University in Detroit.
Kyle is a co-Founder of Cater Nation which was formed in 2009. At Cater Nation he has negotiated most of the company’s national restaurant partnerships and led technology integrations with platforms like Concur, Trustpilot and Twilio. His CFO and CTO roles for the company have drawn on his 30-year career in telecom finance and accounting. He has a BSBA from the University of Florida and an MBA from Stetson University.