When Brandon Grossutti, owner of Vancouver’s Pidgin, signed his first contract with a third-party delivery service, he knew the numbers didn’t make sense.
“I was scared. Then I thought, What am I going to do about it?”
With a background in software architecture, algorithmic trading and business development, Grossutti was uniquely qualified to come up with a better grassroots delivery solution. He began coding in early March last year and then enlisted the help of two local software firms to finish the platform. The FromTo delivery service processed its first order in early May and now has 33 restaurants onboard, plus another 184 in staging, waiting on platform improvements, and a new app needs to be completed.
FromTo operates much like Uber Eats and DoorDash — except that restaurants enjoy the service for free. Consumers are charged a straight $6.50 delivery fee, which, along with discretionary tips, are paid directly to the drivers after every trip. “The goal is to keep money in the pockets of our drivers and restaurateurs,” says Grossutti, who is still operating the dispatch himself. “Everybody’s making money on this, except us.”
The only other drawback is that for now, drivers are limited to delivery within a 5.5-kilometre radius of any given restaurant. Eventually, Grossutti will have to start charging restaurants a nominal fee and raise some capital. Then the plan is to roll out to other cities.
During the pandemic, the food at Pidgin just seemed to get better and better. They’ve become my favourite. I dream about their sablefish.”
—Iriss Gibbons, C100B judge
Photo Credit: Hakan Burcuoğlu