uber toronto

Toronto business switches from Uber to alternate service that pays couriers a living wage

It's no secret that people can get pretty fed up with Uber in Toronto sometimes, but it turns out people are actually willing to wait just a little longer for a service they're finding way better.

BLSH Delivery (pronounced "blush") started up during lockdowns as a delivery system for pretty much anything you could pick up curbside, partnering with local businesses.

"Baked goods and specialty food creators kept finding BLSH," BLSH founder Sarah Brown tells blogTO.

"We thought this was strange because there are seemingly no shortage of options for food delivery. We spend a lot of time speaking with our customers and started hearing the same issues come up again and again. In May 2022 we realized how big the need was." 

After being in operation for about a year so far, they've expanded their delivery reach to places outside of town, and have been focusing on one thing Uber does particularly poorly: getting items from door to door in one piece.

"We do more to educate our drivers, and go much further to treat them well to avoid really unfortunate occurrences like a tipped-over pizza," says Brown.

"For a small business owner, who spends a lot of time and care creating an amazing product, cultivating a fan base, ultimately the last person that customer sees in their experience is the delivery person. If we mess it up then it's all for nothing, so we take it very seriously and look to be an extension of their brand."

They now deliver as far as Barrie, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara Falls, and Whitby. You can preorder baked goods and specialty foods from Toronto businesses, and they pick up the orders from bakeries and shops when they're freshly ready in the morning. Fees are $10 for local delivery and $15 for southern Ontario.

"We recently revamped our service to make it the best possible experience for bakers and specialty food artisans across Southern Ontario," says Brown.

"Items like this aren't a great fit for services like Uber because they take hours or days to make, not minutes, like, say, a burger might. Consumers obviously have grown to expect delivery which leaves these business owners in a tricky spot, planning to throw out a bunch of inventory at the end of each day or turn away customers."

uber toronto

Screenshot from Little Sister Baking's Instagram story.

In turn, Toronto businesses have also been very satisfied with the service, popular South Asian-inspired bakery Little Sister Baking shouting them out in an Instagram story.

"Our wonderful delivery partners BLSH Delivery pay their couriers a living wage, the food arrives like it was packed, delivered to your door if you would like, and treat us, their partners VERY well, no commissions (like typical delivery apps) and they do their very best to be helpful," the bakery wrote in an Instagram story.

BLSH has also partnered with Death in Venice, Courage Cookies, New Pie Co. and Stush Patties.

"We've done almost 20,000 deliveries and had to do fewer than 10 refunds which speaks to the procedures we've put in place," says Brown.

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