Third-party food delivery apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub were lifelines for restaurants that were forced to close their doors in the thick of the pandemic. But as steep fees associated with the apps cut into already-thin profit margins, some restaurant owners are looking into alternatives.
The average monthly spend on food deliveries in the United States was up 133% between April and December 2020 compared to the same period the year before, according to data analytics firm Earnest Research.
Jon Sewell is co-founder and CEO of LoCo Co-ops in Iowa City, Iowa. As the owner of a pizza and calzone restaurant in Iowa City, Sewell said, he wasn’t happy with the commission rates delivery apps were charging, so he launched a co-op with other local restaurant owners to offer the service. Now, through LoCo Co-ops, he hopes to provide the technology and know-how to establish food delivery co-ops in other cities.