Food delivery service growing in popularity

Dash Delivers saw their best launch in the Winkler-Morden area.

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A food delivery service that started in Brandon years ago said the Winkler-Morden area is already set to surpass the city in terms of monthly deliveries.

Dash! Dining and Entertainment owner and operator Chris Thomas said the launch of Dash Delivers in the area has been one of the best they’ve seen.

“Not only has it gone over well, within the following week or two [Winkler and Morden] are going to surpass Brandon for the amount of orders we’re doing,” Thomas said. “It was by far the best first month we’ve seen in any location.”

Thomas said every week since their launch has seen a substantial increase in the number of orders. By next week Thomas is anticipating that the service will see 200 weekly orders.

Right now, there are about 18 restaurants on board with Dash Delivers in the Winkler-Morden area.

The service allows customers to order delivery from restaurants that otherwise might not have a delivery service by hiring contract drivers from the area.

Thomas said he has received confirmation that Mr. Mikes and Winkler’s Dairy Queen are coming on board, so the number is still growing.

The company started four years ago as a directory app in Brandon to list restaurants and their specials, hours and menus.

“There were things out there that were similar but they were user-driven,” Thomas said. “If a person didn’t go upload a menu or go upload pictures then there was nothing there. Our idea was to go and literally talk to every restaurant owner a few times a year and make sure that they were always up to date.”

To generate revenue, Dash! would sell advertising to restaurants and started helping with social media and websites for various restaurants.

“We have the top restaurant pages in Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon,” Thomas said.

A few years ago Dash! brought in online ordering for pick up orders, and Thomas said restaurants were asking why they didn’t also include delivery.

With bigger companies like Skip the Dishes operating, Thomas said the company decided to stick to what they did best, until last year when more restaurants were finding these services too expensive for not enough quality delivery service.

A test run of delivery services in Brandon went over well, and Thomas said the company decided to branch out to communities that don’t have any form of consolidated delivery service. The first place they spread to was the Warman-Martensville area of Saskatchewan.

Thomas said the need for a delivery service in the area has been demonstrated by the success Dash! has seen. “Other than your standard pizza chains, there wasn’t a lot of delivery options,” he said. “It opened up a lot of new restaurants. People want to go to one place and look at all their options in one place and order from there. What we get as feedback from customers is that they’ve seen advertisements and the news constantly talking about third-party delivery in cities, so everybody is aware that these services are out there and just didn’t necessarily have the option for a small area.”

“A lot of the big companies aren’t looking to go to places of this size and yet there’s clearly a demand,” he added.

Dash! has just launched in Steinbach and Thomas said the service has already been accepted warmly by residents.

“With the speed that it’s going and the traction that we’re getting, I don’t think it’s that hard to move pretty fast,” he said. “Most restaurants are willing to come on board, people are very willing to start ordering.”

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