VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — On Super Bowl Sunday and beyond, Vancouverites who want to order food can use a local delivery alternative that doesn’t charge restaurants any fees.
Brandon Grossutti runs Pidgin in Gastown. He launched the online platform FromTo in May, drawing upon his background in tech to try and find a way to help restaurants through the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, as I was boarding up the windows of my restaurant, I saw that in order to survive, especially for the short term would be about being able to co-exist with third party delivery,” he explains.
“As soon as we looked at some of the deals that were that were out there, and how high the commissions were we realized that it wasn’t a sustainable thing for us.”
The online ordering platform functions much like popular delivery apps, but it doesn’t generate any profits.
“What we’re doing right now, during the pandemic, especially is charging zero commission to restaurants, the driver fee and the tip go directly to the drivers,” Grossutti says.
“We’re just trying to rebalance the equation to create something a little bit more economically fair, something that’s local and keeps some money in, in the hands of restaurants and drivers in B.C.”
About 35 independent restaurants in Vancouver have signed on, with dozens of others in the process of coming on board.
“We try to make the experience as seamless, as easy as these multinational multi-billion dollar companies. But we’re slowly growing and getting better and making that experience better,” he says.
While there is interest in expanding on the Lower Mainland, Grosutti says the priority, for now, is to keep doing what they’re doing.
“To make sure that our drivers do well, and our restaurants do well, and that we’re serving the customers well — we’re trying to keep it in a limited radius for now. As we grow and have more drivers go on board and restaurants go on board we can start to slowly expand outwards.”
With files from Nikitha Martins