D’Livery Nola Brings New Orleans Cuisine to Your Door
NEW ORLEANS – The co-founders of D’livery Nola, a local restaurant delivery app, are suddenly busier than they’ve ever been. They just wish it was under different circumstances.
Drew Herrington and Stephan Bandi launched their new service nine months ago. Their aim was low fees for customers and partners while focusing on New Orleans restaurants. No chains or fast food.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they had about 85 restaurants in their system. Now that the health crisis has put a halt to in-house dining across Louisiana, the number of businesses signed up for the service has more than doubled. d’Livery is partnering with fine-dining restaurants owned by Dickie Brennan, Donald Link and other A-listers. It’s been so busy that family and friends are helping Herrington and Bandi with the data entry required to add restaurants to the platform.
“I hate that we’re getting popular this way,” said Herrington, “but the flip side is we’re helping a lot of restaurants stay open and hopefully get through these lean times and back to normalcy, whatever that’s going to be.”
The idea for the venture began about two years ago when Bandi created an in-house app for d’Juice, his Freret Street juice and smoothie bar.
“We started batting around the idea of building out the rest of the app to make it useful for other restaurants,” said Herrington. “We were so put off with what the big national third-party apps were doing to the restaurants: charging high fees, not sharing information and not being true partners. We decided to launch this, which is really a platform for the restaurants by people with restaurant backgrounds.”
During the coronavirus crisis, d’Livery has waived delivery fees for customers and only charges restaurants a per-transaction fee that can range from 10 to 17 percent of the total order. Drivers get paid a flat fee per delivery plus compensation for mileage and extra time. Herrington said they’re able to assign drivers to particular restaurants – and, in some cases, servers from certain restaurants are temporarily taking over delivery duties. The average delivery time is 28 minutes and they go as far as New Orleans East. Kenner is coming soon and possibly the Northshore soon after.
“It’s a long-term strategy obviously,” said Herrington. “Right now we feel wrong profiting off of the misery. We feel better about pumping that back into the delivery side and helping the restaurants get more and more orders. If we come out of the back end and have all of our restaurant relationships intact, we’ll shift it back to normal delivery fees and hopefully people will remember what we did for the community.”
New Orleans is famous for embracing local restaurants over chains. Perhaps that philosophy will apply to delivery apps as well.
“The big national guys are on a grow-at-all costs path so they have more overhead than we have,” said Herrington. “They’re trying to roll out multimillion campaigns in new cities to pick up as much market share as they can. Our focus is on New Orleans – we figure if we can be the best here, we’re all in this boat together.”
The d’Livery Nola app is available for download on smartphones. Restaurants who want to join the program can visit dliverynola.com.