Craving something to eat but don't want to get out of the house and drive there?
Let Somerset Delivery do it for you.
Services like Grubhub and Uber Eats have become popular options in more populated areas in recent years doing this: Taking your order, going to pick it up from a local eatery, and bringing it right to your door.
Now, thanks to young entrepreneurs Nathan Price and Tyler Perry, Somerset and Pulaski County has such a service of their very own.
Largely because they saw a need for it themselves.
"I grew up in Somerset; all we've ever had was pizza available for delivery," said Price. "I used to game a whole lot, I'd be playing at night and thinking, 'I don't want to leave, but I'd like to have something other than pizza.' We started talking about it a little bit, and said, 'Let's try it and see what happens.'"
Of course, it's a convenient idea for a person playing video games who doesn't feel like throwing on shoes and making a nocturnal food run, but with fewer people going out to eat because of COVID-19 and reduced restaurant capacities, as well as more restaurants advertising take-out and delivery options anyway, it's a good time to be in the delivery business.
"We joined the (Somerset-Pulaski County) Chamber of Commerce right when we got started," said Price, who noted that the company got underway in June, with the first day delivering in July. "(Chamber Business Liaison) Bill Marshall said it was the perfect time, not only for customers but for restaurants as well. I'm happy to provide another after for restaurants (to do business); they're losing a lot right now with 25 percent seating."
The two previously worked for education tech company Blackboard; Perry still does, while Price is now focusing on Somerset Delivery full-time.
Somerset Delivery put in a dispatch center just this week; customers can call 606-727-5171 to place an order, or do so at somersetdelivery.com.
There's a service fee and a delivery fee based on mileage — the first three miles (counted from the restaurant to the customer) are $2.99, two more miles is $3.50, three more miles is $4, and on up to about a 20-mile service radius.
"It's not all on our map," said Price. "When a customer realizes they don't have delivery in their area, contact us and we'll try to get their address added in a day or two. ... Once their address is in online, it will populate the restaurants available and show their delivery fee based on distance from the restaurant.
"(Customers) can select their items and that's forwarded to the restaurant. Our driver goes there to pick it up," added Price. "Right now, we only have about one or two drivers at the moment. If we're not too busy, we can usually get the order to you in about 30-45 minutes. Most deliveries are quoted at about 45 minutes to an hour, but we're usually delivering about 10 minutes early."
As the business grows, Price expects to bring on more drivers — the right amount ideally, as you don't want to have too many for the number of orders, but enough to keep delivery time down.
Price said they're trying to match pricing to companies like Grubhub; "We're kind of preparing mentally for (the event) that they eventually want to come here; we want to have competitive pricing."
The model is also set up so businesses can specifically partner with Somerset Delivery and they in turn can do more marketing for those restaurants and reduce the cost of service fees to the customer.
"We can push more business to a partner than a non-partner," said Price. "We'll still offer delivery from the non-partner but offer cheaper prices for the partner to make it worth it for them."
Price noted that not everyone in Somerset knows Somerset Delivery is an option yet, and with it being something new, not everyone might understand it. But those who have tried the service have delivered positive returns.
"In a small, southern town, some people may not like the idea of people bringing you food (to your home), but for the most part, people love the convenience," said Price. "... We love it. We love the reviews that we get on Facebook. We've had a lot of great feedback from great customers."