When we opened Taylor Gourmet, no one was delivering food to some parts of Washington, D.C. Residents couldn’t even get Pizza Hut, Papa John’s or Domino’s in certain neighborhoods. So, when we opened our restaurant, we wanted to be able to solve the same issues that we had as residents. Therefore, finding a way to deliver sandwiches efficiently became very important.
However, when we launched, our delivery system was the most remedial system out there: Post-It notes. As our delivery business began to grow, we saw that we needed to find a way for us to scale up during the busy hours: 11am – 2pm and 5pm – 8pm specifically. We had too much volume, not enough drivers, and the round trip took too much time. But we couldn’t simply add more drivers because there wasn’t enough business for them.
At first, I tried to partner with other delivery companies to utilize their fleet when they had downtime. But that didn't work. So when I found out Olo was thinking of building a delivery module called Dispatch that was tied into LevelUp, I immediately wrote an email to Noah Glass, founder and CEO of Olo, asking him to build it for us. Dispatch greatly reduces or even eliminates restaurant delivery fleets. Instead it uses Uber, Postmates, DeliverLogic and Favor to deliver food on behalf of restaurants. For us, the most important piece was that all of this is under one umbrella, and I don’t have to manage ten different companies to get one thing done.
We began delivery at the end of 2015. After working through with the program for a few months and working through some things with the system, it became seamless. It allowed us to do what we’re really good at, which is putting meat on bread and creating great hoagies. Life at Taylor Gourmet became a lot easier when it stopped being about the logistics, and we could instead focus on our core business. Afterward, our phones stopped ringing and we started pushing orders directly through the website and the Olo ordering system. It gave our general managers the ability to work with their teams, to be able to focus on their shifts. Their job is not to be someone who is ‘dispatching’ delivery orders. They’re there to help facilitate great food within our four walls and they are able to do that with Dispatch.
Dispatch helped Taylor Gourmet decrease our delivery fleet size and increase our focus on making great food. Our delivery time dropped dramatically from over an hour to about 37 minutes on average. Additionally, we’ve seen the number of orders skyrocket 132 percent across all stores and ticket averages jump 19 percent since adopting Dispatch. It’s made the whole process easier. The order happens, the communication with the restaurant is there, no one has to pick up the phone or re-enter data into a POS station — it’s all seamless. Plus, all of the kitchen tickets, those from online orders and in-store orders, now look the same, which helps employees work faster because everything is identical.
Delivery is hard to do and it’s so hard to achieve the same expectations your guests would have if they were ordering in the restaurant. With delivery, many pieces can get lost in translation but with Dispatch from Olo, it’s a game changer.
Casey Patten is the co-founder of Taylor Gourmet. Patten co-founded the hoagie and market concept after graduating from Penn State, moving to Washington D.C., and craving the unique Italian-style sandwiches from home. Today, hoagie lovers can enjoy Taylor Gourmet at 11 locations across D.C, Virginia, and Maryland.