Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Scooter Boogie wants to give rapid restaurant delivery a good name
It's about minimal time and maximum finesse.
DALLAS There's a new fleet of scooters zipping through the streets of Dallas these days, and its looking to enhance the relationship between diners and their favorite restaurants. Scooter Boogie -- a Dallas-based food delivery service -- vows to get the city's best cuisine to customers in minimal time and with maximum finesse.
Paused at stoplights or briefly parked before local hotspots, the Scooter Boogie fleet consists of green and white eco-friendly scooters outfitted with insulated storage areas specifically designed to maintain an entrees integrity as if it were being delivered only a few steps to a patron's table.
"Chefs are extremely particular and they want their meals enjoyed as prepared," said co-owner Leo Morales. "So we've built our network based on expedience, professionalism, and delivering the food as hot [or as cold] as possible."
That rapidly-growing network currently consists of 19 "affiliated restaurants." When customers choose an affiliated restaurant, they simply call in and order, and the restaurant notifies Scooter Boogie. Delivery fees — anywhere from free to $5 — are determined based on the particular restaurant's price range. But, patrons aren't limited to particular restaurants. If they choose delivery from a non-affiliated restaurant, they simply call in their order and then make a second call to notify Scooter Boogie for a flat $10 delivery fee.
The idea came to Morales -- who has 17 years experience in the restaurant industry -- and co-owner Jonas Zimmer when the two were manager and server at Deep Sushi. They started in August 2012 with one scooter, delivering exclusively for Deep Sushi, but soon realized that, in order for the endeavor to be profitable, they would need to expand.
"If we could delivery sushi and have it arrive looking and tasting as intended, we figured we could handle anything," Morales said. "That's one thing that helped us sell the idea to our network."
Another selling point is the high standard of quality that Scooter Boogie demands from its servers. Delivery drivers wear black polos and slacks as they might in a sit-down restaurant, and must meet company grooming standards.
"You feel more comfortable when a gentleman arrives at your door well-groomed and presentable and regarding you as a valued patron," Morales said.
But, Scooter Boogie isn't all appearance. It seeks to improve upon other delivery services' models, which tend to take twice as long. The Foodler process, for example, allows customers to order online, but the process is slowed because the order is then faxed into the restaurant and the restaurant's delivery service gets to it on a first-come-first-serve basis. With Scooter Boogie, the scooters are deployed as soon as the order is placed, often arriving at the restaurant within ten minutes, just as chefs have finished preparing the dish.
"[Online ordering services have] a beautiful idea in theory, but those companies are focused exclusively on the front-end. By the time those orders are reaching the restaurants, our drivers are already there for pick up," Morales said.
Morales estimates that Scooter Boogie deliveries average around 30 minutes, and the goal is to never take more than 40 minutes from the time the customer has hung up his or her phone.
Scooter Boogie's affiliated network consists of a diverse range from Middle Eastern to Italian and even some of the city's favorite pubs. While it may seem natural to order a craft beer with an entree from Vickery Park, Scooter Boogie is unable to deliver alcohol from the restaurants themselves. However, drivers will drop by Lucky Liquor -- currently the only affiliated alcohol seller -- during a food run for no additional delivery fee.
In addition to a diversity of ethnicity and price ranges, Scooter Boogie has also reached out to restaurants that make a variety of meal options from The Mecca's hot and hearty breakfasts and Jack's Southern Comfort Food's pies. Jack's even created special cakes and baskets on Valentine's Day, easily scooted over to a customer's paramour.
Located at 4101 East Side, the Scooter Boogie headquarters is what Morales described as little more than an "office and a garage filled with scooters." There are currently four on the road with two more being fabricated to Scooter Boogie's specific needs at this time. The company has quickly expanded into 9 zip codes and hopes to hit surrounding cities soon.
"It's definitely a growing moment," Morales said. "Eventually we want this to become 'Scooter Boogie Dallas' as we eventually expand into, for example, 'Scooter Boogie Addison.' We want our guys out there on the streets, providing a high-quality service to both local restaurants and diners."
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