New Shaw-Based Food Ordering and Delivery App Helps Restaurants Survive
Look out, Caviar, GrubHub and UberEats. Shaw bar owners have come up with a cheaper homegrown alternative to the national food delivery services, offering DC’s bars, restaurants and nightclubs, currently limited to takeout only, a way to keep more cash in their registers instead of sending it to Silicon Valley.
DC To-GoGo, a web and mobile app food and beverage ordering platform, is now live. The name is a nod to DC’s official music genre, GoGo, and ‘to go.’
When the health emergency forced bars and restaurants to stop seating customers, many businesses that had never considered offering takeout discovered that the national apps’ commissions and fees cut each sale by as much as 40%.
The owners of Ivy and Coney, a six-year-old Shaw bar, pitched the idea of a local, low cost alternative app to a District government agency, but were turned down for funding. When they shared their idea with Shaw Main Streets, the commercial revitalization nonprofit decided to fund the app’s development, knowing that businesses in the neighborhood and citywide could benefit greatly from the savings the app could generate. And two months and hundreds of volunteer hours later, DC To-GoGo was born.
The DC Council recently enacted a 15% cap on commissions for food ordering and delivery apps during the current health emergency. While the national apps’ commissions will go back to being unregulated after the emergency is lifted, DC To-GoGo’s commissions will continue to range from 5% to 15%.
DC To-Gogo commissions and fees stay in DC, and every possible dollar generated is spent with DC businesses and contractors. DC To-GoGo customers see how their dollars are spit between the bar or restaurant they’re ordering from, drivers and the app. DC To-GoGo drivers will be paid a living wage and keep their full tips, instead of seeing national apps take a share.
DC To-GoGo launched in Shaw, but will expand citywide. “DC To-GoGo is a lifeline for restaurants and bars struggling to stay afloat,” said Alexander Padro, executive director of Shaw Main Streets. “DC residents that want to help their favorite restaurants survive the Coronavirus crisis should use the app to order dinner and drinks as often as possible.”
DC To-GoGo is available online at www.dctogogo.com and as a mobile app, available for iPhone and Android.