Delivery Co-op: Locally-owned food delivery company doesn't charge fees to restaurants

Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 18:01:04-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — There's a new food delivery service in Lexington that celebrates and supports locally-owned restaurants. And it could prove to be a big part in the small businesses rebounding as the pandemic eases up.

It's no secret that COVID-19 has changed the way we eat. "Delivery, I think it's been here to stay. Especially with our type of restaurant that's fast-casual," Ilias Pappa, owner of Athenian Grill, said.

While it's convenient, the delivery has increased costs for restaurants. As a way to help, Aaron Withers created Delivery Co-op.

"Customers can sign up for $25 a month and 100% of the sales go to the restaurants. And they can also order as many times as they want, with no added fees," Withers said.

Withers explained their research found the average DoorDash user spends $25 in fees in 2-3 orders. With Delivery Co-op, the subscription comes with unlimited delivery and no added fees.

Many favorite Lexington spots are already participating, like Corto Lima, Zim's Cafe, and Athenian Grill.

A decision that Pappa says was easy to make for his restaurant. "It was pretty much created to help us and the drivers and offer our food without the big burden and cost of the other services, that can cost me as much as 25-30%," Pappa added.

One of the delivery drivers says he's worked with the company for three months.

"I work in town as a cook, so seeing this on a local scale, it definitely, I'm confident in the quality and environment that I'm working around," Allen Pingay said.

The Delivery Co-op founder explains as the number of subscribers increases, the number of restaurants will also increase.

"We're just trying to do something right for our community. More money is going back to the restaurants, we're paying our drivers well, with benefits and with customers not paying as much fees as well," Withers said.

Delivery Co-Op has about 50 restaurants on the waiting list.