Restaurants are the heart and soul of any neighborhood. It’s in all of our best interest to ensure they are kept afloat while we wait out the coronavirus shutdown. We’ve all formed special memories in local eateries such as birthday celebrations with friends, graduation parties with family or serendipitously meeting a lifelong soulmate at the restaurant bar.
Arlington resident Michael Lovett is doing what he can to help keep some of his favorite local spots open, including the one where he met his soulmate. He is aiming to help restaurants put some staff back to work while reducing costs associated with delivery operations with the help of technology provided by his company, Vagabond.
Three Clarendon restaurants, Liberty Tavern, The Renegade and the Spirits of ’76 have partnered with Vagabond, a local software firm that primarily makes technology for businesses that distribute food and beverages at workplaces across the country. The vīv app, created by Vagabond to facilitate deliveries into workplaces, has been adapted to offer a residential delivery service that allows restaurants to utilize existing staff. It provides a similar user experience to other nationally recognized delivery services, but keeps the money in the hands of the restaurants so staff can sustainably earn a living in the current business environment.
By embracing this alternative to the national delivery apps, these Clarendon restaurants can bring some of their servers back to work, continue engaging with their loyal customers, and avoid the hefty fees those services charge to restaurants. When a restaurant is fully operational and dining rooms are full, additional orders arriving from traditional delivery apps are welcome, despite the 20-30% in fees charged to the restaurant. That model is not sustainable when restaurants are forced to pay their overhead while only providing delivery and takeout, the bulk of which comes along with those high fees.
Renegade Chef Patrick Crump stated, “With vīv’s delivery platform we can continue the relationships with our loyal customers from the safety of their homes while retaining enough revenue to sustain operations. Ideally, we intend to use it to bring back some of our servers that we can’t employ when the dining room is closed.”
Vagabond’s vīv app keeps the money in the hands of the restaurant, servers and the neighborhood. Anyone within delivery range can use vīv to order full menu items, beer, wine and cocktails directly from local restaurants. Instead of relying on national delivery app drivers and couriers, restaurant servers prepare and fulfill orders directly to customers. All vīv orders automatically include a 15% tip that goes directly to the servers and the restaurant receives 100% of their menu price.
Liberty Tavern owner Mark Fedorchak said, “We’re happy to have found a local partner in Vagabond that understands the challenges we’re facing. We are pleased to add them to our current delivery and takeout options and bolster our business while we continue to serve everyone in the neighborhood.”
Vagabond has agreed to operate the service at cost to ensure as much of the revenue from orders goes to the restaurants and their team members as possible. A full tip is included for the delivery server in every order and the restaurant receives all revenues from ordered items, keeping the money in the neighborhood where it belongs.
To use the service, download the vīv app at the vīv app download link.
For inquiries or questions, please reach out to the Vagabond team at [email protected].