LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The pandemic forced restaurants to close their doors and rely on delivery to survive. But many restaurant owners say fees from third-party delivery apps didn't help.
13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean speaks with some local businesses that got together to solve their delivery needs.
"We are a vegan Mexican taco shop. We have 15 to 20 different tacos on the menu," says Kristen Corral with Tacotarian.
She says the pandemic changed the way they did business at her restaurant, with two locations in the valley.
"When we reopened we were relying exclusively on takeout and delivery," says Corral.
She says in just one month, she was paying $7,000 in third-party delivery apps.
DOUBLE OUR RENT
"Just to give you a comparison, our rent here is about $3,500. So we were paying double our rent in just commission to large tech companies," says Corral.
Kristen knew she needed a delivery alternative. She was inspired by a growing trend happening in other cities, where businesses run locally owned delivery co-ops. Kristen says the idea immediately took off here in Vegas.
LOCO LAS VEGAS
"I've got restaurants basically every day reaching out via our website saying, how do I get involved? How do I get involved? How do I get involved?" says Corral.
It's called LoCo Las Vegas, providing delivery for spots like Firefly, Fuku Burger, Samurai Sams and Soul Belly. The app works the same as other delivery apps, but with one significant difference.
"Restaurants aren't forced to mark up their fees. Our co-op fees are a lot lower," says Corral.
RESTAURANTS BAND TOGETHER
Restaurant owner, Aaron Bradley with The Juice Box LV on South Durango Drive and Warm Springs Road, is among those to jump on board.
"When I heard that the restaurants can band together and create a local-based delivery system that eliminates third parties, eliminates big tech, eliminates money going out of state or out of the community, I was on board in an instant," says Bradley.
SAVINGS FOR EVERYONE
Aaron also points out, when businesses save money using the local co-op, the savings can be passed on to everyone.
"The customers, in giving them lower service rates or drivers with increased pay or giving dividends back to the restaurants who participate," says Bradley.
Bradley says LoCo was big in helping his business stay afloat during the pandemic.
"It made a huge impact. I won't say that we were walking the tight rope, but we were getting close to it," says Bradley.
As for Kristen, she sees the co-op not only surviving post-pandemic but actually thriving with lots of additional restaurants in the months to come.
"We'll probably have almost 100 in the next month or so. So I would love to get to 200 or more by the end of the year," says Corral.