Edward Reeves started driving for meal delivery services during the pandemic – Uber Eats, Grubhub and a number of other large services that grew while Covid kept customers out of restaurants but failed to diminish their taste for food from their favorite eateries.
“The first couple months driving and delivering for Uber and GrubHub in Twenty-One, when the pandemic first hit, I did almost 5,000 deliveries,” Reeves recalled. “I was running 12 hours a day and just cooking, cooking like grease.”
When he had a spare moment, Reeves decided to investigate how the companies he was working for got their start, and realized he could do the same. He reached out to DeliverLogic, which is promoted as a “turnkey food delivery software solution.”
“I called them up, paid them handsomely, I feel, and they got me started with doing all of the legwork that it takes to get a delivery company started,” he said. “And Eatztime was born.”
Reeves still drives deliveries himself, but he now has a fleet of three cars decked out with his venture’s unique logo and contact info.
Reeves believed his strategy is paying off. “People are starting to create accounts on the website and on the app. People are checking us out online. We’re seeing from zero visits a day when we first started to maybe 75 visits a day and I think we can actually attribute that to these mobile billboards.”
While based in Milford, Eatztime delivery vehicles can be spotted making deliveries across Fairfield County – and not just for takeout orders. Eatztime also provides grocery delivery services, and Reeves is looking forward to the state’s approval of a recently filed liquor permit.
“We’ll be adding firewater delivery soon,” Reeves said with a laugh. “I think it’s going to give the business a horse-kick in the rear and we are going to really get going.”
According to Reeves, Eatztime is set apart from bigger delivery services by putting an emphasis on customer service. The livery that helps advertise the business also helps put customers at ease when they see an unfamiliar vehicle.
“When we pull up in their driveway, they know we’re not a spooky van just sneaking around scoping out their stuff,” he said. “We’re here to give good service.”
Reeves also acknowledged that some customers may not love the idea of putting private information into an app they just downloaded, as is the case with some of the larger delivery services that can lean on widespread name recognition to put people at ease. That is why he is making it a priority to allow for PayPal payments on the app, which provides an added level of security and privacy to orders.
“We offer a more personal experience, a more local experience,” Reeves said of where his customer service focus originates. “We know the area; we know the clientele. We know how folks in this area want to be treated on a personal level, I was an employee at Cablevision for 10 years. So, I had experience dealing with customers in Wilton, Easton, and Redding and having long conversations with folks. I know what they want and expect from the people that help them out. GrubHub and Uber don’t always hire drivers with that particular knowledge for dealing with clientele in this area.”
More than 40 restaurants from across Fairfield County offer delivery through Eatztime, and Reeves said he is actively courting new eateries to join the network – especially since he has drivers interested in working with him.
“I want to tell people to give a call to their favorite restaurant and have them give us a call so we can add them,” Reeves added.