From Canada to Columbus, the city’s reputation as a testing ground – and its vibrant food scene – brought food delivery platform Skip the Dishes down from up north and into its first U.S. market.
“Our strategy has been to go to market where there’s great food,” says Co-Founder Andrew Chau. He’d heard about Columbus’ test city reputation while in university, but it was truly the strength of the food scene that attracted the four co-owners.
“We found that there were just a ton of really, really great restaurants [in Columbus],” Chau says.
Since 2013, Skip the Dishes has grown from one location in Canada to nine, and crossed border lines to Columbus in May. It’s the latest in a rash of delivery businesses that are helping Columbus residents get everything from food to booze delivered right to their doorstep.
The draw for Skip the Dishes is targeting restaurants that normally wouldn’t have delivery.
“Our main focus was let’s just connect people that want to get great food,” Chau says. The pinpointed market came from their own realizations that all the places they wanted food from didn’t deliver.
And while they wanted delivery, they wanted to make it as easy as possible for the restaurants.
“What we do is we focus primarily on the end-to-end food delivery for the restaurants,” Chau says. “All they need to worry about is preparing the food.”
As long as a restaurant can handle the extra orders, “It’s an easy way for restaurants to add 10-15 percent more revenue every month by working with us,” Chau says.
Technology lends a hand with an app that restaurants use to help coordinate orders. The kitchen is also able to track delivery couriers with uber-like technology.
Skip the Dishes has already amassed 143 restaurant partners in Columbus all across the city. Unlike other services that focus on the urban core or specific neighborhoods, the platform has a wider delivery area. They are working with everyone from Aab India, to Thurman’s, to the Cameron Mitchell restaurants.
“We partner where the great restaurants are,” Chau says.
They are also looking for that busy professional or anyone after convenience. The ease factor and transparency (diners can map-track their orders) are the two major positive Skip the Dishes touts.
Delivery fees range from $0 to $5.95 depending on the distance a diner is from the restaurant. The platform aims for a tight 10-15 minute window between restaurant pick-up and delivery, so users will receive a curated list of places that will deliver to their location when they access the app (available online or iOS).
“We essentially have algorithms that optimize drive times,” Chau says. “We want to make sure the quality of the food maintains.”
Skip the Dishes currently focuses on dinner delivery from 4:30 – 9:30 p.m., but has plans to expand to lunch to hit the office crowd, and possibly even later in the evening for the night owls.
For more information, visit skipthedishes.com.