WHILE THE COVID-19 outbreak has ground much of the restaurant business to a halt, food delivery startup Delivery Tab said it is ratcheting up operations for businesses now relying on delivery.
Delivery Tab works with restaurants to provide delivery infrastructure and riders for their operations. It operates a fleet of around 400 contracted drivers and riders in Dublin and the other major cities, which it effectively leases out to restaurants.
George Beeby, its chief executive, told Fora that since the coronavirus crisis emerged, it has seen a significant uptick in demand, echoing remarks made by other delivery services.
“There is a massive spike in demand to be quite honest and it is something that we’re trying to focus on and do as carefully as possible,” he said.
The company, which previously worked with Just Eat to provide riders to its network, is now working with Flipdish, which allows restaurants to build their own online delivery platforms, rather than using large incumbents like and Deliveroo.
Delivery Tab is now providing riders to those restaurants while also signing up restaurants that are either now doing delivery for the first time or ramping up delivery options to keep running. One new establishment on its network is the White Moose café in Dublin.
“I think a lot of people are thinking they have to shut down, because they won’t be able to keep going,” Beeby said.
“But what they don’t realise is that there is a market out there for this kind of operation right now and it is something that can be done and can keep you open in a certain way and still keep a bit of money coming into the restaurant.”
Delivery Tab, like many delivery services, is now implementing a limited contact operation to avoid delivery drivers coming into direct contact with customers.
“The driver will ring the customer when they’re on the way with the food asking does he want the food left on the doorstep or handed the food through a window.”
Delivery services are finding new business in the current climate, Beeby said, but there are a great deal of added measures that these companies need to take.
“It is business as usual but it has to be safer. We have to make sure that the insurance is in place and that people are washing their hands. We have to make sure that people are sticking to the rules that we are setting,” he said.
Delivery Tab plans to next bring Waterford into its network in the coming weeks.
“We were planning on mid-April but it depends on how things are going. There are restaurants there that are looking for drivers, so if we can strike up a deal we could get it done sooner.”
In the face of the ongoing crisis, the company hasn’t shelved its international expansion plans either but how those plans take shape in the near future remains to be seen.
“Our goal is to build as many restaurants onto our books as we possibly can. We are currently looking at expanding into Australia.”