DliveryPal, a new food delivery service/app in Omaha, is preparing to launch a test pilot in March or April.
Thursday's cold, snowy, slushy weather is primetime to huddle inside your home or office and order takeout.
But in Omaha, it's pretty limited to restaurants like Jimmy John's and pizza places, says Thang Nguyen, co-founder of DliveryPal, a local food delivery app, similar to services like Seamless and GrubHub in larger markets.
— DliveryPal (@DliveryPal) February 20, 2014
In late March or early April, DliveryPal plans to launch a test pilot of the service for restaurants and customers near the University of Nebraska at Omaha at 60th and Dodge streets.
They hope to grow to more areas of the metro three or four months after the pilot. Eventually, they want to get into the Lincoln market, too.
Nguyen met co-founder Hamza Rehman, who worked in New York restaurants for seven years, at an event and both had complaints about the gap of delivery service in Omaha.
Nguyen's work as a tech business analyst for First National Bank of Omaha's mobile banking, along with Rehman's foodie and startup experience, was the perfect match to make something happen.
"This was something I wanted to use," Nguyen said. "That was really the motivation behind it."
They know the idea isn't anything new, they just hope the idea will catch on in Omaha like Seamless has in New York City.
"That's the biggest challenge: if Omahans will pick us up," Nguyen said. "We can't tell until we start.
"Omaha people tend to like to go out to eat, but at the same time they don't have that option for delivery. So you could argue it both ways [if this is a needed product]. Is this a right fit for Omaha? That's what we're trying to solve right now."
There are similar competitors in the area, but they lack a mobile app or sleek, easy-to-use design, Nguyen said. He thinks the mobile market is here to say and no one is capitalizing on that for food delivery in Omaha.
Many restaurants just don't want to mess with delivery, and that's the way it should be, he said.
"They should be focusing on what they do best—making the food—and we'll do what we do best and deliver it."
Customers will place the order through the soon-to-launch iOS app [they hope to launch an Android app soon after] and drivers will simply pick up the food for them.
They're still working out pricing, but want to make a commitment to have enough drivers that wait times aren't long. They plan on having multiple drivers near UNO for the pilot and Nguyen said the jobs would be well-suited for a student with flexible hours.
"They could be studying or watching TV, receive an order through the app, go get it, deliver it and be back home within 20 minutes," he said.
After DliveryPal expands, he could see a higher density of drivers downtown where there's a higher population of lunch crowds.
Nguyen said he wants to specifically pair with local restaurants and fast-casual places. He also could see more fine dining options, too.
"We're not too worried about partnerships with restaurants yet," he said. "We figure we focus on customers and once they see we bring them customers, restaurants will follow."
You can sign up for DliveryPal's newsletter at dliverypal.com to get updates on when it comes to your area.
Credits: Screenshot from DliveryPal website.