FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The push to support local businesses during the pandemic is going beyond shopping local and dining local to include local delivery, something that local governments are now moving to support.
“Delivery has been a saving grace for us,” said Fort Collins restaurant owner Brian Seifried.
Seifried owns The Wing Shack and several other local spots in northern Colorado. With COVID restrictions closing down dining rooms, his business has relied on delivery. But he says the bigger food delivery companies like DoorDash and GrubHub charge so much in fees, it can make it hard to turn a profit in an already difficult year.
“Their aggressive tactics and looking out for themselves – and not independents and our community – is damaging independent restaurants,” he said.
That’s where a local solution comes in, called Nosh Delivery.
“Nosh is a third-party delivery service, locally owned and operated,” said Nosh’s director of operations Nicki Bartolone.
The company operates in a similar way to PostMates or UberEats, with local delivery drivers picking up food from restaurants and delivering it to customers. The major differences, according to Bartolone, are the fact that Nosh is owned by local investor restaurants, and operated by real people here in Colorado. Seifried is one of the investors in Nosh.
Bartolone says Nosh charges restaurants a 15% commission fee on deliveries, compared to 30% or more on larger platforms.
“So, the reason (the restaurants) would want to go with us is because we’re not going to be cutting into their profit margins quite as much as the bigger companies,” she said.
“That is great for the consumer as well,” Seifried said. “Better service and better pricing on delivery.”
Seeing this local delivery option as a way to help local restaurants, the city of Fort Collins has now stepped in to cover the restaurant commission fees for the remainder of December.
“So, we are not charging the restaurants anything. Anything we would normally charge them, the city is going to foot the bill and reimburse us for it,” Bartolone said.
The city confirmed to Denver7 it will be using coronavirus relief funds, coming in part from the CARES Act, to pay for the program.
“Fort Collins has really proved to us the city can come in and use some of the relief funds in a creative way that supports independent, local business and independent, local restaurants that give our community so much character,” Siefried said.
Fort Collins plans to cover those fees through the end of the year. The city of Boulder has stepped up to do the same, according to Bartolone.
“We’re really happy to be helping the local guys,” she said.
For more information on Nosh, click here.