• Darien Terrell

Learnings From the Pandemic

For a business like ours, providing catering delivery services to the restaurant industry, it goes without saying the last six months have been quite a challenge due to the pandemic, both professionally and personally. Talk about an understatement….

It is very sobering to learn about the number of small businesses and restaurants that have had to close due to the impact of COVID-19. When I take a step back and reflect on the last few months, I’m proud of our ability as a leadership team to adapt. We are putting DeliverThat in a position to continue to succeed as we manage our way through the lingering pandemic. We’re not in the clear but we can see light at the end of the tunnel. How did we do this? By listening to operators in need and expanding our service offering, focusing on our operations, and investing in our driver network. Having a terrific team has also been a wonderful asset that is driving us through this storm.

Like many businesses, our 2020 started off strong. By April, our order volume had dropped over 80 percent and we were faced to make difficult decisions with an internal team supporting a network of over 2,500 drivers. Do we institute furloughs or layoffs, or could we find ways to keep our team and drivers as busy and productive as possible?

Our journey took us down two paths. First, we were able to expand our core delivery service into route-based deliveries. One of our initial successes was with a concept called Life Alive, an organic café. In addition, we began taking on grocery deliveries in many of our current markets. Both of these expanded offerings continue to be part of our business, as well as doing takeout and to-go orders. We’re grateful for this business and these additional services have helped keep many of our drivers paid.

Our approach to The DeliverThat Standard was severely impacted by the restrictions caused by Covid-19. With hands-on education and in-person events no longer a possibility, we had to adapt. By leveraging technology to assist with the broadcast of our Standard, the quality of our education has not only been maintained, but greatly improved.

Through this virtual approach, we are able to deliver onboarding content for new drivers in a consistent manner and convey this information to them effectively. By achieving our Standard throughout our delivery network, DeliverThat is able to assist any restaurant/foodservice brand to optimize their off-premises efforts. We’ve also begun an important initiative where we are working with our partners to tailor our driver education with their brand-specific education so that our drivers will be aligned with our partner’s brand standards.

Doing the right things for our drivers is having a profound impact on our business. The outcome of all this hard work has been very gratifying. By creating a more efficient and effective driver education program, we’re able to provide a higher standard of consistent delivery execution to our partners as they continue to focus on returning their catering sales back to pre-pandemic levels.

When I think about one thing I’ve learned from the last six months, I would have to say “It is never a gamble to bet on yourself, and surround yourself with a team that shares your vision.” This has been a time of personal and professional development for me and the DeliverThat team, and our investment of time and resources will not only make us a better company, but will also enable us to exceed our partner’s expectations.

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