Students plan speedy delivery of local food
College students know something about eating out. Students at the University of Dayton have combined that knowledge with their business education to help create 937 Delivers, a local delivery service to help small businesses struggling with cuts to their revenue due to reduced eat-in dining and costly delivery services.
Flyer Consulting, a student-run organization providing free business consulting to nonprofits, worked with Co-op Dayton to envision a delivery service that would be owned by the restaurants and delivery drivers. Their goals included supplying more local jobs and cutting fees paid by restaurants for delivery.
Flyer Consulting’s managing director, Duke Tobin, said the students were excited to help local restaurants survive through such a tough time because of restrictions in place to combat the pandemic.
“They came to us asking for some financial help just getting it off the ground and turning this vague idea into an actual reality,” said the senior entrepreneurship and marketing major.
With a Flyer team of six, the group went to work listing restaurants to contact and envisioning the business layout for this new delivery system.
“We were working on financial modeling; we were doing some marketing collateral; we were figuring out what kind of key assumptions they had to make; we were figuring out how to get grant money, where to get grant money,” said Tobin.
They also brainstormed the co-op’s name.
“I remember sitting around — and we had 30 minutes in a meeting, maybe over an hour — trying to figure out what we were going to actually name the delivery service,” said junior finance major Matt Martin, project lead for 937 Delivers. In the end, they picked the name featuring the Dayton area code — 937 — that puts focus on the local nature of the services it provides both its members and the hungry public.
Martin said he has been impressed with the success of the venture in such a short time. The service launched Nov. 27; in two months, it brought in more than $100,000 in revenue between all member restaurants, he said.
According to the co-operative’s website, in the first 31 days 937 Delivers served 1,715 customers through delivery and employed more than 25 unemployed or underemployed restaurant workers.
“Last night, I ordered from it, so I was able to see the product that I helped work on and know that it was benefiting the community.”
“It was so cool for us because a lot of our projects are more internally based, so the community doesn’t really know what Flyer Consulting is doing,” said senior business economics major Bridget Krysztopa, a student consultant. “Last night, I ordered from it, so I was able to see the product that I helped work on and know that it was benefiting the community.”