Eastern Iowa restaurants see benefit using delivery services

Published: Feb. 20, 2018 at 1:48 PM CST
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Restaurants in eastern Iowa are teaming up with food delivery providers to reach even more customers.

Vivian’s Soul Food in Cedar Rapids is approaching its one year anniversary. For the newer restaurant, it can be difficult to get the word out about its home-cooked inspired meals. That’s why it’s partnering with food delivery services.

“it gives us the opportunity to get out to more people, open up the market, plus its good for the customers. We got a lot of people that live in Marion, live in Hiawatha, that don’t really want to travel this far,” Owner Jerome Smallwood said. “By us being a small restaurant, a mom and pop small restaurant, it will give us a competitive edge.”

Since the restaurant started using delivery services, Smallwood said he’s seem some growth.

“I think a lot of people are starting to learn more about it, in bigger cities you have like the Uber Eats and different delivery services, but I think it’s starting to pick up and catch on,” he said.

That’s what delivery service

says it’s seen as well. Customers can place orders through its online app or website, that information is transferred to the restaurant, a driver picks up the order and then takes it to the customer.

The service opened in July of 2017, and owners say since creating an app, they’ve seen more and more orders. It’s now working with about 50 restaurants.

“People when they’re hungry they don’t want to spend too much time thinking, they just want to go there and place the order,” Co-Founder Armel Mushekuru said. “We started here in Cedar Rapids, and now we are getting ready to launch in the Iowa City area, and Ames, and Davenport areas.”

They said it’s beneficial on both the service and restaurant sides of business.

“We have brought them a ton of customers, a lot of their customers are elderly and they don’t want to leave the house, they can’t leave the house, or maybe it’s a work rush and people can’t leave their job,” Co-Founder Erin Doolin said.

Smallwood said the service is not taking away from the “dine in” experience.

“People want to come here, and sit down, and eat, they will sit down and eat. If a person wants to sit at home and watch tv, we’re also able to be an option for them,” he said.