Philly-Area Tech Firm Aims to Deliver Food More Cheaply Than DoorDash or UberEats
Just two companies, DoorDash and UberEats — both based in San Francisco — arrange five out of every six restaurant meal deliveries in the U.S.
More than half of Americans have used meal delivery services, with the typical customer spending more than $200, in the first quarter of 2022, according to Bloomberg Second Measure.
But their charges now consume 25 to 40 cents of every dollar we pay for delivered meals, hurting consumers and cutting deep into restaurant income, said Andrew Simmons, head of the Restaurant Marketing and Delivery Association, a Texas-based national group. His 550 members employ 30,000 local drivers, many of whom also regularly deliver for DoorDash and UberEats.
So this month, Simmons’ association is challenging Silicon Valley’s dominance of the food-delivery world, with online systems built by Zuppler, a 10-year-old, 70-person software shop based in a former glass factory in Conshohocken.
“Zuppler is building out our platform for our new website, LocalDelivery.org,” scheduled to go live in mid-June, or whenever his group signs up enough restaurants and delivery services to make it viable, Simmons said. Consumers will use an app to order.
Local services cut online ordering and delivery charges by as much as half, he said, making it easier for restaurants to absorb Zuppler’s 50-cents-per-order system fee. The system should also improve service by giving users local humans to call when problems arise.
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