Food delivery by bicycle is a growing trend in progressive urban areas. In cities like Portland, San Diego and New York City, where local restaurants and food culture are an integral aspect of the cityscape, there is a need to seek out methods of delivery that are more efficient than the traditional sedan with a car top sign, and an open mindedness and an ingenuity to develop and support alternative methods of delivery. Some restaurants have established their own in-house bike delivery operations, and other eateries have begun outsourcing deliveries to bicycle courier-style delivery services.
In San Francisco, Rheas Deli, known for its pork katsu sandwich, started delivering by bicycle this May. Rheas will deliver anywhere within the Mission District for no extra charge (with a $10 minimum order), and as San Francisco is one of the most densely-populated cities in the United States, food delivery by bicycle makes a lot of sense. Franks Deli is a local favorite in Memphis, Tennessee. This sandwich joint that is hidden within a convenience store delivers orders on a Worksman Cycles tricycle, equipped with a generously sized cargo unit (added bonus: Franks also boasts a nice beer selection). In NYC, the list of restaurants that utilize bicycles for delivery is long and growing everyday; this method of delivery is so prevalent that the Department of Transportation has mandated that the cyclist wear his or her restaurants branded shirt and carry a business identification card while working to ensure that the riders follow the rules of the road when making deliveries.
In addition to restaurants that have figured out how simple and efficient bicycle delivery can be, businesses such as Manivela Delivery are being created to act as intermediaries between hungry consumers and their favorite local establishments. Manivela Delivery is San Diegos first bicycle driven food delivery service, and its mission is to support local independent restaurants and to work towards local economy sustainability, environmental responsibility and bicycle awareness. Manivela charges the ordering party a $5.00 flat fee plus an additional charge for deliveries outside of a certain distance, and they will happily pick up food from any place that does not offer its own delivery service. Through a slightly different business model, Portland Pedal Power works with local businesses by partnering with clients in central Portland and making their products available to customers via bicycle delivery. PPP offers e-commerce menus, online payments and several delivery options (regular routes, rush, specialized, on-demand meal delivery). And, to take full advantage of their two-wheeled delivery vehicles, PPP also offers marketing services such as mobile signage and promotional material distribution.
These are just a few examples of operations that see value in sustainability and have integrated bicycle delivery options into their business models to better serve their communities. Do you have a local favorite that brings you hot savory sustenance via bicycle? If so, wed love to hear about it!