No Grubhub or UberEats? Oregon restaurants start their own shared delivery service

OREGON, Ill. (WTVO) — Since restaurants can’t offer dine-in services, many are offering takeout and delivery. But some smaller communities don’t have access to UberEats and Grubhub.

Andrew Carlson, owner of Scoops Famous Subs, at 108 N 4th Street, says it was important to offer a delivery service for his customers.

“We figured out that UberEats, Grubhub, and a lot of the corporate delivery services, they don’t serve this area at all and the rural areas are kind of overlooked,” he said.

So, he and a couple of other restaurant owners in the area decided to do it themselves.

“About a month and a half ago, we started talking to some of the local businesses and seeing if they would be interested, and a lot of the changes that recently started happening kind of escalated the need for it,” Carlson said.

Together, they launched a pool delivery service.

“We use one team of drivers that will deliver for all six to seven (restaurants), however many end up joining in,” Carlson said.

Michelle Carreno, owner of Hector’s Cocina, at 201 N 3rd Street, said, “Yesterday was the first full day [of] delivery. [We received] lots of great reviews on it, from everybody who was able to get delivery service, from all over.”

Scoops, Hector’s Cocina, Blackhawk Steak Pit, Bela’s Cafe, Blackhawk Nutrition, Northside BarbaQ, and Jay’s Drive-In are now offering delivery through the service.

“It’s kind of helping people, a lot of people that are being affected by these shutdowns, so that, again, is the community feeding the community,” Carlson said.

“As business owners, it helps ease our mind a little bit that our employees can get hours somewhere else,” Carreno added. “Also, right now, it just helps alleviate the overhead burden of it.”

Usually, a driver would be an employee from the different restaurants. Retiree David Mammoser said he volunteers his time to the cause.

“I’m looking forward to reaching out into the [outlying] areas to make contact with residents who aren’t within city limits, and this way they get to learn what the city of Oregon has to offer,” he said.

The restaurant owners believe the service not only brings the community together, but could also help them reach new customers.

“We’re looking to expand it a lot further, as well,” Carlson said.

Carreno added, “I can see this being something that is going to stick around for a while.”

Right now, the restaurants deliver to Oregon, Mt. Morris, Byron and Chana, but say they hope to expand in the future.

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