Food delivery in Battle Creek goes way beyond pizza

In Battle Creek, DoorDash will deliver food from between 17 and 29 restaurants during each eatery’s regular business hours, and GrubHub shows one …
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Lake’s Sunrise Cafe is tucked behind a supermarket on a side street, barely visible to passing motorists on nearby East Avenue in Battle Creek.

Lynn Lake has owned and managed the quaint diner for 20 years. With a staff of three and little internet presence beyond a Facebook page, she doesn’t have the capability to process and deliver online orders.

“I’ll take an order to deliver if it’s $75 to $100,” Lake said. “It has to be big enough.”

But now she’s got someone else to do it, regardless of the size of the order.

Lake’s Sunrise Cafe was recently added to the roster of local restaurants using the Mr. Delivery service.

It’s one of several food delivery services available in Battle Creek, as many consumers opt for convenience over savings.

Companies are engaging in a food fight to lock down markets in a growing industry that is projected to generate $365 billion globally by 2030.

Ordering in

The first pizza delivery, by most accounts, dates back to 1889.

But locally-owned and even national chain restaurants outsourcing delivery services is a newer development.

Jasper Gary, a Mr. Delivery sales rep for Michigan, said the company started delivering in Battle Creek in 2018 and currently delivers food from 44 restaurants in the city.

They’re not they only ones.

In Battle Creek, DoorDash will deliver food from between 17 and 29 restaurants during each eatery’s regular business hours, and GrubHub shows one delivery and three pickup sites.

“In Battle Creek, we got there before everybody else and made it easier,” Gary said. “They still love us out there. Now they have another option. They are trying DoorDash and GrubHub. In Jackson, we got there behind DoorDash, and they made our job easier. That gave people a chance to see what people can really do. We gave them another option. It goes both ways.”

Customers can build their order and pay for their food through the Mr. Delivery app or website. The Battle Creek service runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with estimated delivery times between 45 minutes and an hour.

While Mr. Delivery has contracts with national chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s and Finley’s, agreements with small businesses like Lake’s Sunrise Cafe are more or less done through a handshake. Delivery services don’t need permission to list an establishment on their website or app.

“I don’t have a contract with them,” Lake said. “(Gary) said, ‘When people have called, I come pick it up.’ That’s fine…They had people wanting our food.”

Farm to Sprout to table

Sprout, a non-profit organization in Springfield, has been delivering its customizable Sprout Box since 2013.

“We’re an online grocery store of local goods,” said Sprout founder Jeremy Andrews. “We’re an aggregator of products from local farms. Our biggest goal as a company is to help grow local food businesses and help them get their product to market.”

Sprout, formerly known as Sprout Urban Farms, has expanded its operations to include an incubator kitchen for rent, thanks in part to a nearly $750,000 three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Andrews said his organization has to battle misconceptions that it is a community supported agriculture farm, and that the Sprout Box only includes vegetables.

“We do have produce, the best, freshest, closest-to-home produce you can get,” he said. “Just as important, we have other food, local grass-fed beef, whitefish and trout. We have vegan food products, tons of shelf-stable snacks, frozen foods and vegetables that may not be in season yet. We have this all year long.”

To order a Sprout Box, consumers must first sign up for a weekly or bi-weekly membership, starting at $15. Any items over the limit are charged, and at-home-delivery requires an additional $5 charge. There are also several pickup locations around Battle Creek, and companies like Denso Manufacturing and Kellogg Co. have their own delivery sites.

“We have customers that buy all of their groceries, then customers that use us as a supplement to traditional groceries,” Andrews said. “Everybody is moving towards shopping online. We want to make it easy for people to shop local, because consumers demand easier and easier ways to purchase things.”

Personal shopper

Lucretia Watts of Battle Creek loves to shop.

She loves it so much, that she decided to make a career out of it, joining Shipt as a shopper.

Shipt is available for pickup and delivery of Meijer products in Battle Creek and available for pickup and delivery of Target and Petco products in the 49015 zip code. So Watts joined the team.

“I’m an empty nester now, so I have a whole lot of time on my hands,” she said. “Before becoming a shopper, I was a member. After my first delivery, I was compelled to search online on how to become a shopper. It’s very convenient. It’s a flexible schedule and work whenever you want to work.”

Competing with Shipt and Sprout in the Battle Creek grocery delivery market is Instacart, which offers pickup and delivery at Family Fare, Aldi and Sam’s Club. Consumers are charged $3.99 on orders over $35 to use the service, and the annual fee for Instacart Express is $99, or $9.99 per month.

Using Shipt requires membership fees, either $14 per month or $99 annually. Once an order is placed using the Shipt website or app, the consumer is paired with a shopper like Watts, who communicates to the consumer whether an item is available at the store through text messaging.

The shoppers are essentially independent contractors, and can receive tips at the completion of the order. While you can’t request specific shoppers, you can give them a high rating and feedback, which makes it more likely that an algorithm will pair you with them for future purchases.

“I shop for the disabled, working parents and homemakers. I’ve heard a lot of good comments from Shipt customers,” Watts said. “It allows them to shop from home and get their groceries delivered right to their door. It allows them to do things without worrying about shopping. I had people tell me they have anxiety, so they are not able to be around large crowds of people, so they are very grateful to the service.”

Nick Buckley can be reached at nbuckley@battlecreekenquirer.com or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley

Food delivery services in Battle Creek

RESTAURANTS

• Mr. Delivery

• DoorDash

• GrubHub

GROCERIES

• Sprout Box

• Shipt

• Instacart

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Uber, Lyft driver strike latest move to organize gig workers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A strike by Uber and Lyft drivers in cities across the United States this week caused barely a ripple to passengers looking to …

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A strike by Uber and Lyft drivers in cities across the United States this week caused barely a ripple to passengers looking to catch a ride, highlighting the challenges in launching a labor movement from scratch in an industry that is by nature decentralized.

Activists and others involved in the labor movement are still declaring it a success. It grabbed headlines, trended on Twitter and won the support of several Democrats running for president. The action was also closely watched by labor organizers, who are brainstorming about ways to build worker power in the 21st-century economy.

Drivers say they wanted to draw the attention of the public, technology investors and political leaders to their plight: low pay and a lack of basic rights on the job.

“The goal is to bring awareness to the incredible disregard for workers,” said Lyft driver Ann Glatt, who helped organize the San Francisco strike and protest outside Uber headquarters.

App-based workers are thought to comprise just a small fraction of the economy, but there are still millions of people making a living in gig work. Uber alone says it has nearly 4 million drivers , while Lyft has over 1 million.

In pockets around the country, workers are starting to organize themselves, often with the help of workers’ rights groups and labor unions. In Silicon Valley, a workers’ rights group established Gig Workers Rising, which helped with Wednesday’s strike. In New York state, the AFL-CIO is pushing the Legislature to take steps to protect workers who get jobs through digital platforms. A campaign that started in Washington state this year pressured shopping service Instacart to stop counting tips toward workers’ base pay, and even won them back pay.

Among the Lyft and Uber drivers’ top issues are pay, a lack of transparency that makes it difficult to understand how much they were paid and why, and no due process when they are “deactivated,” or barred from the service.

The drivers and workers at other app-based platforms such as Instacart or food delivery service DoorDash are classified by the companies as independent contractors, leaving them without the same safeguards traditional workers receive, such as minimum wage, unemployment insurance, workers compensation and health and safety protections.

Uber on Thursday disclosed ahead of its Friday IPO that it had reached an agreement to settle with tens of thousands of drivers who dispute the company’s contention that they are independent contractors. It said the payments and attorneys’ fees could reach $170 million.

Uber maintains the drivers are independent because they choose whether, when and where to provide services, are free to work for competitors and provide their own vehicles. It said it has taken steps to make drivers’ earnings more consistent and to improve working conditions, including by providing discounts on gasoline and car repairs and tuition reimbursement for some drivers.

Lyft also pushed back on the complaints, saying its drivers’ hourly earnings have increased 7% over the last two years, that on average, they earn over $20 per hour and that three-quarters of its drivers work fewer than 10 hours per week.

In California, labor leaders are pushing legislation to classify many gig workers and other independent contractors as regular employees, after a state high court ruling last year.

Nicole Moore is a Lyft driver and organizer with the Los Angeles-based group Rideshare Drivers United. This week’s action came out of a strike drivers held in Los Angeles in March to protest Lyft’s IPO and a cut in Uber’s reimbursement rate from 80 cents to 60 cents per mile. Drivers after that action wanted to do more, and this week’s protest was hatched.

A core group of about 25 drivers organized it, she said, with many other of their 4,300 driver members pitching in to help.

Drivers in different cities described how they spread the word. Some spoke to fellow drivers face-to-face in driver hotspots: airport parking lots, car washes and gas stations. They reached out to driver networks in different immigrant communities and took out targeted ads on Facebook and Google.

Organizing people who don’t work in the same job location can be difficult and requires new, tech-savvy approaches, said Rachel Lauter, executive director of the Seattle-based workers’ rights group Working Washington. The group has helped organize in industries such as fast food and domestic workers, and last year started talking to workers in the gig economy about what mattered to them.

Their efforts galvanized this year when Instacart changed its pay model and began counting tips toward its shoppers’ base pay. The group launched a campaign using text messages, Facebook, Reddit, online petitions and other digital tools to reach out to workers and customers to let them know about the change. They encouraged customers to give only a minimal tip to send a message of protest to the company then add a tip after delivery or tip in cash. They also created online calculators to help workers understand how much Instacart was actually paying them. They held Zoom conference calls where hundreds of Instacart workers and customers called in to coordinate.

The work paid off when Instacart in February announced a number of steps “to more fairly and competitively compensate” its workers, including leaving tips out of it when they calculate how much each worker will be paid.

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said it isn’t fair that gig platforms don’t have to pay minimum wage, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance and other expenses that traditional employers pay.

“We must get ahead of this now,” Cilento said. “We liken it to where we were with the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, when they came up with the eight-hour day, and child labor laws and overtime pay.”

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Wegman’s and DoorDash Team Up on Meal Delivery

Further evidence can be seen in a newly announced partnership between Wegman’s and DoorDash. Grocery stores are fulfilling consumers’ …

Grocery stores are upping their game in the e-commerce channel. Mercator continues to believe that 2019 is a breakout year for U.S. online grocery sales. Further evidence can be seen in a newly announced partnership between Wegman’s and DoorDash. Grocery stores are fulfilling consumers’ on-demand urge with either prepared meals or regular stocked store items for delivery or curbside pickup. Meanwhile, delivery companies have scaled up to a level that covers practically all U.S. metro areas. All of this makes for an appetizing trend as grocery sales will show a significant uptick in the next few years.

A Supermarket News article discusses more on this topic which is excerpted below.

Following a successful pilot, Wegmans Food Markets has begun delivering meals from select stores through a partnership with last-mile delivery platform DoorDash.

“We promise to ‘make great meals easy,’ and it doesn’t get any easier than this,” Erica Tickle, e-commerce group manager for Rochester-based Wegmans, said in a statement. “What’s unique about Wegmans Meals 2GO is the variety of delicious menu options. During the year-long pilot at our Pittsford store, we listened and learned, fine-tuned the app and created a menu that had something for everyone at home or at work.”

“Our partnership with Wegmans showcases DoorDash’s focus and commitment to better serve our customers and merchant partners beyond restaurant delivery,” said Casey North, vice president of drive at San Francisco-based DoorDash, which in January said it became the first on-demand platform to operate in all 50 states, covering over 3,300 cities. “Wegmans will leverage our strong logistics platform, which enables them to further deliver on their promise to make great meals easy.”

Wegmans has continued to extend the reach of its on-demand services. At the end of February, the grocer completed a rollout of Instacart Pickup to all of its 21 stores in the Rochester area after launching the service at two of the locations last year.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group

Summary
Wegman’s and DoorDash Team Up on Meal Delivery
Article Name
Wegman’s and DoorDash Team Up on Meal Delivery
Description
Grocery stores are fulfilling consumers’ on-demand urge with either prepared meals or regular stocked store items for delivery or curbside pickup. Meanwhile, delivery companies have scaled up to a level that covers practically all U.S. metro areas.
Author
Raymond Pucci
Publisher Name
PaymentsJournal
Publisher Logo
PaymentsJournal

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Wegmans dashes into meal delivery

Wegmans has partnered with DoorDash to roll out its Wegmans Meals 2GO food delivery service to 40 stores by the end of 2019, the grocer …

Dive Brief:

  • Wegmans has partnered with DoorDash to roll out its Wegmans Meals 2GO food delivery service to 40 stores by the end of 2019, the grocer announced in a press release.
  • Through the Wegmans Meals 2GO app, shoppers can order from Wegmans’ prepared foods selection, which includes sushi, pizza, wings, subs, salads, soups, items from the hot wokery, heat-and-eat meals, desserts and beverages. Delivery is available within a five-mile radius for orders of $20 or more, or customers can opt for carry-out or curbside pickup.
  • Wegmans Meals 2GO is currently available at one location in Sterling, Virginia and two stores in Rochester, New York. Two additional Rochester stores will go live on Tuesday. Customers must download the Wegmans Meals 2GO app in order to access the service.

Dive Insight:

Today’s announcement indicates the conclusion of a successful pilot for Wegmans Meals 2GO, which the grocer launched last October at its Pittsford, New York store in concert with Instacart. Since then, Wegmans says it has refined the service using shopper feedback.

“During the year-long pilot at our Pittsford store, we listened and learned, fine-tuned the app, and created a menu that had something for everyone at home or at work,” said Erica Tickle, Wegmans e-commerce group manager, in a statement.

Wegmans didn’t say why it switched from Instacart to DoorDash, though the move likely had something to do with the latter’s expertise and leading position in meal delivery. The restaurant delivery service recently took the lead in market share with 27.6%, overtaking Grubhub, and has grown quickly in the past year, delivering two times the amount of orders in 2018 than in the previous four years of operations. Wegmans still uses Instacart for grocery delivery.

More Americans are demanding meal delivery as an alternative to cooking at home or dining at expensive restaurants. As delivery options increase through apps like DoorDash expand and more restaurants get on board, grocers must weigh how and if they might incorporate meal delivery into their e-commerce offerings. Most grocers don’t offer a standalone meal delivery service — and many may not have the high demand and quality to do so, as Wegmans does.

Wegmans’ partnership with DoorDash further blurs the lines between restaurants and grocery stores. Restaurant brands continue to launch locations in grocery stores, and grocers’ prepared food offerings are becoming more reflective of restaurant quality and variety.

While consumers are flocking to restaurant and grocery delivery, grocers and restaurants — with their slim margins — are less enthusiastic. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that food delivery is an expensive but necessary offering for the companies, which usually lose money with each delivery made. According to a survey from online ordering platform Tillster, 85% of consumers are unwilling to pay more than $5 for food delivery — so companies have to remain competitive with their pricing. Wegmans Meals 2GO will run customers about $4.99 per delivery, and DoorDash fees for other restaurants typically range from 99 cents up to $6.99.

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Wegmans launches meal delivery with DoorDash

Wegmans said Meals 2GO orders of $20 or more for lunch, dinner or “anytime in between” can be delivered via DoorDash in an approximately …

Following a successful pilot, Wegmans Food Markets has begun delivering meals from select stores through a partnership with last-mile delivery platform DoorDash.

Accessed through the new Wegmans Meals 2GO app, the service is available at the supermarket chain’s Dulles store in Sterling, Va., and its Pittsford, East Avenue and Perinton stores in Rochester, N.Y. Wegmans said Monday that it plans to launch Meals 2GO at its Penfield and Webster (Holt Road), N.Y., stores on April 30.

Related:Wegmans extends its reach

Overall, Wegmans aims to roll out Meals 2GO to more than 40 stores by the end of the year, as well as to additional locations in 2020.

“We promise to ‘make great meals easy,’ and it doesn’t get any easier than this,” Erica Tickle, e-commerce group manager for Rochester-based Wegmans, said in a statement. “What’s unique about Wegmans Meals 2GO is the variety of delicious menu options. During the year-long pilot at our Pittsford store, we listened and learned, fine-tuned the app and created a menu that had something for everyone at home or at work.”

Related:Wegmans begins rolling out Instacart curbside pickup

Wegmans_Meals_2GO_app_screens.pngWegmans said Meals 2GO orders of $20 or more for lunch, dinner or “anytime in between” can be delivered via DoorDash in an approximately five-mile radius of participating stores. Items available for delivery include sushi, pizza, wings, subs, salads, soups, hot “wokery” (Asian), ready-to-heat meals, desserts and beverages.

To order food, customers download the Meals 2GO app to their iOS or Android smartphone, and the app will indicate if delivery is available based on their location. Orders can be scheduled for delivery from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on any day of the week. Meals also can be ordered ahead of time for carryout or curbside pickup, with no minimum required and no added fee, Wegmans said.

“Our partnership with Wegmans showcases DoorDash’s focus and commitment to better serve our customers and merchant partners beyond restaurant delivery,” said Casey North, vice president of drive at San Francisco-based DoorDash, which in January said it became the first on-demand platform to operate in all 50 states, covering over 3,300 cities. “Wegmans will leverage our strong logistics platform, which enables them to further deliver on their promise to make great meals easy.”

In support of their partnership, Wegmans and DoorDash are offering free delivery on a minimum order of $20 with the one-time promotional code “W2GODELIVERY,” which is valued at $4.99 and expires Dec. 31. Customers also are being offered $10 off their first order using the code “HOORAY.”

Wegmans has continued to extend the reach of its on-demand services. At the end of February, the grocer completed a rollout of Instacart Pickup to all of its 21 stores in the Rochester area after launching the service at two of the locations last year. Wegmans already offers Instacart grocery delivery across its six-state footprint, which includes 99 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. The chain announced earlier this month it would be opening its first North Carolina location later this year.

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