New grocery delivery service in Toronto overwhelmed by demand
Within a week of launching, Food to You received over 1,000 orders for grocery delivery, causing co-founder Urjit Dave to reconsider how to best serve the community.
The flood of orders meant that the small team didn't have enough resources to meet the demand and same-day deliveries became a challenge Dave told blogTO.
Some customers were dissatisfied with the service. For example, one customer, Christine Welldone, complained that her food delivery never arrived and that she was told she would get a refund but never did.
Dave says Welldone got her refund since she wrote the complaint. But it's instances like this that caused him to rethink how to streamline the process.
"I love the demand but I want to be able to help everyone," he said.
On Friday, Dave announced that the company has put a temporary lock on orders while they revamp the website and try to hire more drivers.
"It was a tough call," he said but insisted that the changes would be worth it.
One of the main changes Food to You is making is getting rid of the "grocery list" feature.
"It was wasting time going back and forth," he said. The original process was multi-stepped and involved writing a grocery list, then creating an invoice, then the invoice needed to be approved by the customer.
When they relaunch, customers will just add products to a "cart" based on what Loblaws has in stock. This way they know what they're getting before they order.
"It will make it more efficient and easier for customers to come on board," Dave said.
Another major issue is the lack of drivers. The company currently only has three drivers but needs more to meet the needs of the customers.
"We could use three or four more drivers," he said, stating specifically drivers were needed in the downtown core and in Mississauga.
Drivers are paid a flat fee of $25 for the first hour and then an additional $10 per extra hour.
But the scaling up of operations does come with a hike in service fees.
"We are raising the service fee from 15% to 20% to grow the team and compensate the drivers better," said Dave.
Food to You is still committed to helping the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be back online by the end of Sunday. .
"We're doing everything we can," said Dave.
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