Local food delivery app sees boom in business, expansion as pandemic brings increase in food delivery demand
"All of a sudden the amount of orders just climbed up exponentially."
LEESVILLE, La. (KALB) - When it comes to modern day conveniences like food delivery, that’s not something you’ll often find in a small town like Leesville.
However, former military guys and car salesmen Wayne Ryder and Travis Pew are changing that with EZ Street Delivery, founded in January 2019.
“Just because we choose to live in a place that we love, why are we not afforded the same thing? That’s not fair,” said co-founder Travis Pew.
“We figured we’re going to spend our lives here. What can we do to improve where we’re at?” said co-founder Wayne Ryder. “We wanted to do something to elevate the food culture even in small towns like Leesville.”
Since launching, the company has expanded to Alexandria, Natchitoches, Many, Deridder, and even to Lafayette just last week. They also serve the smaller, outlying areas such as Rosepine and New Llano. “You got really good homemade mom and pop restaurants and that’s really what we tailor to,” says Pew.
The pair came up with the idea while working at a local car dealership when they were too busy making sales to leave for lunch.
“Everybody had that small-town mentality of well, there are 6,000 people here in Leesville, you can’t get food delivered here. Nobody’s going to start a delivery service here.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring and most restaurants shifted to pick up and delivery, things changed.
“All of a sudden the amount of orders just climbed up exponentially,” said Pew.
In a matter of days, the company hand-selected more than two dozen new drivers and expanded their delivery radius, with some restaurants on the app experiencing a 30 to 50 percent increase in sales.
“We’re getting responses - thank you so much for doing this in our area. I’m so glad this is finally available for us,” added Ryder.
Though the EZ Street app works the same as other food delivery apps, the bigger apps can take 40 percent or more of the restaurant’s profits once you add in extras like marketing fees. Ryder and Pew say they take far less and plan to keep it that way no matter how big they get.
“We stayed in the mindset of helping the restaurants. That was the priority,” said Ryder. “I mean everybody wants to make money, but we want to do it the right way.”
As the demand for food delivery continues outpacing previous forecasts, the duo says they’re holding on tight and trying to keep up as the overwhelming support from the community continues. “That really kind of pumps you up every single day you walk in,” Ryder said.
“It motivates you every day to keep ongoing. Keep doing what you do,” said Pew.
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