With the increase in food delivery services, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants have started offering food for delivery through apps such as Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash.
But restaurants are charged a percentage of each order to use these services, forcing owners to cut profits or pass those costs on to consumers. This problem was recognized by both entrepreneurs and restaurateurs in Oklahoma City and led to the birth of the ELO delivery app.
The ELO app (pronounced ee-low) was designed and launched earlier this year. Like other food delivery apps, it connects customers with local restaurants, but one of the big downsides is that ELO doesn’t support restaurant payment fees, so menu items are the same in the app as they would be. Table.
Co-founder Jack McBride, also known in the community for publishing So6ix magazine, began looking for something else to do once the coronavirus pandemic struck.
âA lot of my local customers were all like, ‘Jack, do something with local delivery. We get killed by these national brands, they take huge chunks of our profits, they don’t care about us “” he mentioned.
Local brand-focused OKC food delivery app
His solution was a local brand-focused laser delivery app, developed with co-founders Duggan Roberts and Patrick Dunagan. It has also been a success so far. McBride said he averages around 100 orders per day through the app and has seen steady growth in downloads from users, orders and restaurants wanting to participate.
“It gives us the opportunity not only to provide the service and help them with delivery and realization, but also to present their products, to inform people about all these local concepts and not to hide them behind McDonald’s,” Chick-fil-A, and all the other national brands, âMcBride said.
One of its first followers was Ned’s Starlight Lounge on May N. Owner Ned Shadid helped the app in the early days to prove the concept to ELO developers.
âIt’s great,â Shadid said. âInstead of paying 27% to 30% at all these other restaurants where I can’t make any money, or I have to give it to my consumers, well, I don’t want to do that either,â Shadid mentioned. âMy menu item is what it’s purchased for on the ELO app. So if I have a menu item at $ 16, it’s $ 16 for the consumer. So that makes us look better, and we have a chance to make money out of it. “
That same $ 16 chicken fried steak meal was listed for $ 21 on other apps due to additional fees charged by the delivery company, he said.
He also appreciates the customer service that a local app brings to the table. Even though Shadid has tried to cancel the service through other delivery apps like Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash, he still gets delivery drivers from those apps showing up at Ned’s Starlight Lounge.
âWe can’t get a phone call, we can’t get an email, nothing because they know some people will still be ordering on this app,â he said. “We have almost no choice but to place this order so as not to look bad.”
ELO app designed to help restaurants keep money
ELO currently has over 100 drivers, and McBride hopes to strengthen that number as more restaurants are added and more people turn away from domestic delivery services.
âAll of these great companies, they came here and no one had any other choice,â McBride said. âBut as competitive markets develop we are now able to start helping people in a better way, reducing those margins and creating competitiveness, we are probably going to see a change in the industry by compared to what we do with it, I guarantee. “
ELO recently added restaurants further from the core of Oklahoma City in the suburbs, and by the end of the year McBride plans to expand beyond Oklahoma City to neighboring cities, and possibly be up to Tulsa.
Having a local delivery service that caters only to local restaurants attracts people who want to support businesses in their community. The restaurant literally pays nothing, no fees, no fees for processing credit cards. ELO’s profit base is based on paying customers for the convenience of ordering and delivery online.
âIt’s a huge selling point, especially during the pandemic when people really got into this mode and saw little guys like me and my buddies who are all over town seeing that we’ve been hit more. than anyone because we don’t have deep pockets, âShadid said.
The application is available on the Apple Store and Google Play, or on its website, elo.delivery.
Editor-in-chief Dale Denwalt covers tech, aerospace and Oklahoma news for The Oklahoman. Do you have a story idea for Dale? He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter at @denwalt. Support Dale’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at subscribe.oklahoman.com.