TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Mike Magee has made a career out of helping restaurants build a better business, but after the pandemic cut into his consulting business, he literally took his efforts to the streets of Saint Petersburg.
“This is the way the restaurants can keep the cost down (and) save money,” Magee said. “And keep the cost down for the customer and the community so more money stays local.”
Loco Tampa Bay is a local food delivery service. Yes, just like Uber Eats, GrubHub and Door Dash, but Magee says it’s totally different.
“What we’re able to do is we’re able to cut that delivery cost in half. And so that saves the restaurant, it also allows the restaurant to keep cost down,” he explained.
By charging local restaurants 13% to 17% for deliveries compared to the bigger companies charging up to 30%, Lowco Tampa Bay is delivering more than food. For business owners like Mark Ferguson who owns Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, they are saving him a lot of money.
“Before we were just making food and not making any money,” Ferguson said, “now at least we can make a little money on deliveries and take out.”
Magee says even his drivers are making more behind the wheel than their bigger delivery competitors.
“The drivers make 100% of the tips,”Magee said. “They make the delivery fee minus $2, so on average they make $10 a run.”
Driver Nick Windholz certainly isn’t complaining.
“iI’s transparent. We know exactly what we’re making,” Windholz said, “The customer knows what they’re being charged. The customers tip better and so they love us on Loco. I haven’t gotten a hug from a Door Dash customer. I’ve gotten several hugs from Loco customers.”
So far about 50 restaurants in town have gone loco since they started delivering back in July and more are switching to the local delivery service every week.
Magee says now it’s just a matter of getting more customers like Ryan Rigdon to make the switch too.
“Just having a local option we’re keeping the money in the community,” Rigdon said, “It’s pretty much a no-brainer.”
“The customers save money,” Magee said. “The restaurants can save money and the community is going to benefit.”