2 homegrown food delivery services now bringing restaurant meals to Kiawah and Seabrook | Raskin Around
Restaurant owners say they hate the grocery delivery giants because their fees are high and customer support is low. Many restaurant guests feel the same way. Few independent alternatives to the major players have emerged, however, as the complexity of delivery makes it nearly impossible for a small business to compete.
However, areas not served by DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub are ideal testing grounds for entrepreneurial models to bring restaurant food into people’s homes. For example, the islands of Kiawah and Seabrook have two new delivery platforms developed by residents who are tailored to the needs of their neighbors.
Neither Curbside Gourmet CHS nor Delivery Boy charge restaurants. In both systems, all fees are paid by the customer.
“Let’s face it: people who live in Kiawah and Seabrook have the money,” says Fred Stuart of Curbside Gourmet CHS, who adds a flat $ 25 surcharge for every order he drives back from downtown, even though he does We reserve the right to correct this number upwards for “larger and more expensive” transports.
In contrast, Dave Woodson and Jaime Corrado developed a variable fee structure for Delivery Boy, the price of which ranges from $ 0 to $ 6.99, depending on the customer’s address.
“It’s completely free for the restaurants,” says Woodson. “Our main goal was to support the small business community. We want to help these restaurants keep their doors open. “
Delivery Boy works in a similar way to the most popular delivery services. Delivery takes place in partner restaurants as soon as they are open. The majority of the nine restaurants listed on the Delivery Boy website are on Johns Island, although Woodson is hoping to add more restaurants to the menu.
As they discovered in early business weeks, restaurant meals aren’t all that Kiawah and Seabrook residents want. They interpreted Delivery Boy’s promise to offer a “white glove service” to mean that they can use Delivery Boy as a traditional courier service.
We publish our free Food & Dining newsletter every Wednesday at 10 a.m. to keep you updated on what’s happening in the Charleston culinary scene. Register today!
Woodson says he has already replaced one customer’s propane tank and brought a heavy package to FedEx for another customer.
“From a logistical point of view, it can be a challenge. Even Uber Eats doesn’t make any money, ”says Woodson. “But if you can slowly and methodically scale and work locally, you can make it work.”
Curbside Gourmet CHS requires better planning ahead on the part of the customer.
“It’s not for someone who feels like a Mexican,” explains Stuart. Instead, customers choose from a curated list of restaurants in the Charleston area the day before dinner and meet with Stuart in Freshfields Village the following afternoon to collect their orders.
Currently, Curbside Gourmet CHS only supplies Lewis Barbecue and Sugar Bakeshop as well as Hamby Catering and Cru Catering. The biggest problem, says Stuart, is finding restaurants that serve dinner in the middle of the day.
Stuart is also cautious about bringing groceries back to Kiawah Island because he fears they won’t withstand the trip. Nevertheless, he also wants to expand his restaurant list.
“If you live out here, you’re limited to about 10 of the same restaurants out here and the various club facilities,” he says. “During the pandemic, a lot of people were fed up with the same old thing.”
Restaurant owners who are used to school fees of up to 30 percent can relate to it.
To reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.