COVID-19 restrictions reduced restaurants’ sales by <65% and had a big negative ripple effect on our local economy (45% of southside businesses are food enterprises). To survive, restauranteurs pivoted to online ordering/delivery using cost-prohibitive third-party apps (Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, …). To make online ordering/delivery costs affordable, the Greater Chatham Initiative is implementing its new Soul Delivered community delivery service.
Typical third-party platforms take 30% of the order revenue combined with a drop in number of orders is a financial disaster for the restaurants. South side restaurants are currently using these services out of desperation, but it is hardly a sustainable business model for them.
Soul Delivered will:
Soul Delivered is a limited-profit social enterprise (L3C). Soul Delivered will reinvest profits to provide much-needed technical assistance to the restaurants. Improving their operations, online presence, and staff training will help to rebuild the commercial corridor and surrounding community Many South Side restaurants need strong technical assistance to improve their overall operations and digital presence.
The model is designed around Geo-density and multiple route optimization
methods vs. single route optimization used by existing delivery services. This model generates significant cost advantages because a driver can handle multiple pick-ups and deliveries on a single run.
Maintains superior “chain of custody” control of the food being delivered. This is particularly significant given the COVID-19 crisis and can be beneficial in marketing the delivery service through to the final consumers generating “demand-pull”. Third-party delivery options are expensive, but also, they break the “chain of custody” of sanitation: Without controlling the delivery operation, a restaurant cannot ensure proper sanitation is practiced all the way to the customer’s door. Each driver will be taught through live presentations and video training best practices for sustaining the highest levels of sanitation from the moment they pick up their delivery all through presenting the delivery to the customer. All drivers will be the State of Illinois certified “Food Handlers”. 28% of delivery drivers taste your food, per a US Food Study in 2019. See link, https://www.newsweek.com/delivery-drivers-taste-food-1451624
Unlike 3rd party app platforms, customer data (names, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses), this patron personal data will be available to the restaurant. It is critical restaurants develop patron communities they can communicate and engage with.
Soul Delivered, community delivery services would provide a key foundation for building a hyper-local ecosystem. Restaurants would be the so to say, “anchor tenant”, supporting the operation and development. This service would be available to any local business in the area. We see Soul Delivered, community delivery services as a key component for the South Side small business’ answer to combating Amazon Prime.
RESTAURANTS IN OUR COVERAGE AREA IN CHICAGO
Current area covered: Hyde Park, Chatham, Auburn Gresham, South Shore, Greater Grand Crossing, Grand Boulevard, West Englewood, Englewood, Washington Park, Douglas, Woodlawn, Avalon Park, Kenwood.