It used to be that food delivery applied only to Chinese restaurants and pizzerias. Takeout has long been expanding, and the internet now allows for your best-loved cuisine to arrive from nearly any restaurant. There are national apps and ride-sharing companies taking part. The owner of Doorbell Dining, Dave Stewart, started ahead of the curve. The company, which launched in 1999, delivers lunch and dinner from Monterey County restaurants – ordered online or by phone.
Weekly: What was it like when you first started?
Stewart: Back then we only had about 12 restaurants we delivered for, and now we have over 100. The business has changed, and we are changing with it.
What do you think about the food delivery apps?
I think that they are great. We are competing with national food delivery apps. The venture capital funders are growing very fast but not making any money because they are too big. Our smaller business uses real people. We make our business personal.
Who are some of your best customers?
At lunchtime, we do a fair amount of drop off catering to corporations, doctors offices, architects. Another demographic are the elderly; they order an ample lunch and save the other half for dinner. Dinner orders are from working people, as well as vacationers.
What is the strangest story you’ve heard from your drivers?
We had customers invite the drivers to share dinner, and we get a lot of requests to run other errands.
How receptive are restaurants?
Very. The resistant ones prefer us to Grubhub because they can call us directly.