What if you could order your favorite food delivery without the additional delivery fee? Now you can.
This is how Wake Forest University Business School graduates Lucas Lorenc and Mason Halpern developed the idea for Raleigh-based Ghost Delivery. In 2019, Lorenc studied in the downstairs area of his high-rise apartment. Every day at 6 p.m., he noticed the delivery drivers would pile in, bringing orders from the same popular restaurants.
The idea for Ghost Delivery stuck. Lorenc and Halpern wanted to make the delivery system more efficient, creating a food delivery service that was free to end users, but with only a select few delivery times a day to reduce costs and make the business model work.
Ghost Delivery, which will present in CED’s virtual Venture Connect summit (March 23-25), targets high-density restaurant areas like food halls or city restaurant clusters and delivers to large apartment buildings and office buildings. This week, Ghost Delivery launches at Campbell’s Law School.
Ghost Delivery charges restaurants around 15% less than competitors like GrubHub and Uber Eats. Those competitors also charge end users around 100% of the order simply for the delivery—which means that $10 burrito can cost about $20 when it gets to your door. On the other hand, Lorenc said, Ghost Delivery charges end users (i.e. diners) zero for the delivery itself, with an optional tip.
“The way we can do that is by targeting high-density buildings like apartment buildings with 600 tenants in them and offering only a few delivery times per these high-density times,” Lorenc said.
They founded in March 2020 and launched in December. Covid-19 was a paradigm shift necessary for a successful drop-point delivery service like the bootstrapped Ghost Delivery, Lorenc said.
“We’re looking to raise capital once we prove out our concept on a larger scale and continue to to get some more user engagement,” Lorenc said.
In the past, technology has essentially given people more for less, like Uber did when it first launched. Now that’s part of Ghost Delivery’s intended impact for all parties involved—including the restaurants and diners, not just delivery services like Ghost Delivery.
“It’s pretty tragic for restaurants that they’re essentially just covering their operating costs,” Lorenc said. “And the delivery apps price it so efficiently that it’s essentially just covering their operating costs and no profit. So we’d ideally like to make this a more efficient and profitable business model for all parties, and we actually think we have a real solution to do that.”
The fact that restaurants pay less to Ghost Delivery than to its competitors isn’t the only benefit to them. Because the deliveries are limited to a few select times, the restaurants can better plan for their busy periods and make meals in bulk.
In the future, Ghost Delivery hopes to target different styles of buildings, adding to the high-rise apartments and office buildings they already focus on, all while helping restaurants already hit by Covid-19.
“It’s actually just become incredibly expensive for all parties involved,” Lorenc said. “Our vision is really to be more efficient and more profitable.”