juniors pizza toronto

Toronto pizza joint ditches all third party apps in favour of their own free delivery

Rather than use any third-party apps, a Toronto pizza place is opting to just do their own local delivery, totally for free.

Juniors wants you to call them directly to order up their delicious pies.

The pizza joint already has a pretty healthy reputation, as it was opened by staff behind old Italian restaurant Vesuvio which was around for decades.

They opened Juniors in September 2020 and initially partnered with the most common third-party delivery apps (Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and DoorDash), but that only lasted three months.

"During this time period I was under the impression that delivery partnerships and apps were the way of the future. I thought that you couldn't be competitive in today's landscape without them," Shane Lemieux, who co-owns Juniors with Jimmy Chalmers, tells blogTO. 

"What I didn't realize was every day using them, I was losing more and more control over my product and how my restaurant was being represented."

They immediately discontinued the use of any apps and pivoted to in-house delivery from then on.

"Many businesses have closed during the pandemic and the ones that haven't have been required to pivot towards takeout and delivery," says Lemieux. "This has made these companies, Uber and Skip, incredibly powerful, and handcuffing a lot of business to exorbitant fees."

Benefits include the lack of hefty apps for customers and the restaurant for a sub-optimal experience, being sure of where and how products are delivered, having a direct line of communication back to the restaurant, and additional tips going directly to the driver.

Lemieux doesn't judge restaurants that choose to use apps, and recognizes it as a necessary business practice. However, for the Juniors team, the trade-off of having door to door control over their food is worth snubbing apps.

"In house delivery and more traditional ordering practices have been almost universally well received by our customers. I believe they appreciate the accountability and familiarity it provides," says Lemieux.

"I can admit that calling for a pizza in some ways can seem like an old fashioned practice but it's what works best for us, and we plan on sticking with it for the foreseeable future."

Juniors offers delivery free of charge within boundaries that extend west to Royal York, east to Shaw, south to Lake Ontario and north to Rogers Rd.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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