SOUTH BEND — The local food delivery market is being stirred up by a pair of new national competitors.
Door Dash, a San Francisco-based tech company, just started food delivery services in South Bend on Wednesday. Uber Eats, the food delivery version of the popular ride-sharing app Uber, will kick off in the local market by the end of the month, according to the company’s Midwest general manager.
The change means new competition for the longtime food delivery service DineIn. Founded in 1993, the Osceola-based company just celebrated its 25-year anniversary and now employs 47 drivers.
The company’s owner, Joshua Railton, said founder Larry Laperriere broke the mold in 1993 by starting a delivery service in a mid-sized city.
“At the time there were services like this, but really only in super-big cities like Chicago,” Railton said. “He kind of set out to prove that this kind of thing could happen in a medium-sized city. He was really a pioneer in that.”
Laperriere died after a motorcycle accident in 2010, and his wife and Railton took over as company owners. Since then, Railton has become the sole owner of DineIn. But adding two new competitors into the mix will be a change.
“It is kind of a weird scenario, where the company was ahead of the curve when we opened in 1993,” Railton said. “Now we have everybody and their brother getting into the game.”
But there are distinctions between the three delivery services.
Uber Eats will only deliver to customers living within a four-mile radius of the restaurant they’re ordering from, whereas DineIn and Door Dash will go beyond that radius. Door Dash will deliver food from restaurants it’s not partnered with.
DineIn has also carved out a spot in the emerging grocery delivery market. An exclusive deal with Martin’s Supermarkets means the company can pick up groceries that have been selected by Martin’s employees and deliver them straight to a customer’s home.
A possible fourth competitor, GrubHub, wouldn’t say whether the company has plans in South Bend specifically. Spokeswomen Kaitlyn Carl said GrubHub will be “expanding our delivery footprint throughout 2018, with more than 100 new delivery markets,” but declined to specify if South Bend was part of the planned expansion.
For David Lucchese, co-owner of downtown Mishawaka’s OneFourteen gastropub, the chance to partner with Uber Eats is an opportunity to reach customers who might not use DineIn.
“I think Uber Eats will have broad reach to younger people,” Lucchese said.
Right now, OneFourteen uses DineIn. Once Uber Eats rolls out around March 22, Lucchese said they’ll use both services, because of their different pros and cons.
“Uber as a whole is a little bit more popular,” he said.
But the four-mile radius restriction for Uber Eats means OneFourteen will still have DineIn for deliveries that are farther away.
“From our locations in downtown Mishawaka, four miles will only get us to the edge of Notre Dame campus and the edge of South Bend,” Lucchese said.
Peter Forsberg, Uber Eats general manager for the Midwest, said the company will provide tablets to its restaurant partners that will automatically send them orders, and the company’s engine will also automatically send the nearest Uber Eats driver once the food is ready. Plus, contrary to its competitors, Uber Eats will be available around the clock, seven days a week.
As for the four-mile radius, Forsberg said the algorithm calculations aren’t set in stone and may change over time. As far as competitors, he thinks Uber’s widespread name recognition could give the company an edge over DineIn and Door Dash, especially at the University of Notre Dame campus.
“What we find in a lot of markets, we certainly do benefit for Uber rides brand and the Uber rides network,” Forsberg said.
Source: South Bend Tribune