Having dinner delivered was popular before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic but now that eating in is the new dining out, local delivery service Easy Eats is looking to grow its presence in the community.
Founded in 2011, Easy Eats is already seeing a 60% increase in its business versus this time last year, said Hollie Chaffin, who took ownership of the company in September.
Bernadette Morrissey, the original owner, said she came up with the idea behind Easy Eats when she asked herself what people wanted and realized there was a market to work with local restaurants to create a delivery service. From there, conception to opening of Easy Eats took only six months.
“I sat down and I said ‘What does somebody want?’ and I thought about how there were nights I’d come home from work and just did not want to cook because I was so tired,” Morrissey said. “I figured that, if I feel that way, there are other people who feel that way, and decided people would want to have their dinner delivered.”
Even though other services have joined the market, Morrissey said Easy Eats has remained a local favorite because of how personable its service is compared to the national chains.
“At first there would be a dip in business for about two or three months, but people would usually come back because of our customer service. We also emphasize local food instead of chains because those restaurants are actually our No. 1 customers,” she said.
The difference is in the connection with an actual person instead of through an app, Morrissey said. Easy Eats’ older clientele appreciates being able to call, which also is beneficial for restaurants, she said.
“It’s helpful to have a local place deliver that doesn’t charge exorbitant fees,” said Bob Marder of Jonny’s in Longmont. “Others like Grubhub want to charge smaller places like us up to 30%, and (Easy Eats doesn’t) do that. They work with us on any issues, they’re cooperative — they’re just good, nice people.”
As the new owner, Chaffin wants to focus on getting the business noticed more and growing its presence in the community. Plans include helping cater large events, working with schools and new options for ordering.
“We’re actually working on developing an app right now, because, well, people love having apps these days,” Chaffin said. “We’re working on marketing and more diversity with the restaurants we work with, we’re really focused on building the business even more.”
Morrissey said she was ready to pass on Easy Eats to Chaffin after seeing her dedication and strong work ethic as one of the company’s best drivers.
Chaffin, a two year-employee before taking ownership, said she is optimistic about Easy Eats’ potential for growth. Currently the service partners with 18 restaurants in the area, but Chaffin is hoping to double that as soon as possible.
“We just added Grossen Bart Brewery, and there are a few more places we’re hoping will get on board with us,” Chaffin said. “We’re hoping to get 30 to 40 restaurants to really offer a diverse variety of food for people to order from.”
With the level of growth Easy Eats is looking for, Chaffin also hopes to have a minimum of three drivers per shift to boost efficiency and balance the workload of each driver. Currently there are seven drivers and dispatchers, with one or two working per shift.