LoCo Omaha begins common operations
Following the success of its Douglas County Meal Plan, LoCo Omaha will commence regular operations as Omaha’s only local restaurant delivery service in early February.
Established in 2020, LoCo Omaha is the city’s locally owned and operated restaurant delivery service. Unlike third party services, LoCo Omaha is owned by local restaurants.
In December 2020, LoCo Omaha received $ 500,000 from Douglas County Commissioners to enlist local, independent restaurants to serve 7,000 family meals. As part of the food program, LoCo Omaha initially provided 7,000 vouchers for nutritional aid programs, but it evolved to also deliver bulk meal orders directly to food aid lines and pantry programs in collaboration with its nonprofit partners.
“We usually give out the staples, but we don’t often get fully cooked meals,” said Gillian Cromwell, pantry manager for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. “What LoCo offers is an excellent complement to what we do.”
“I bring food to a mother who has three children under five and she has almost tears in her eyes,” said Micah McGaffin, a LoCo Omaha driver. “People in need get food, and right now it’s really important.”
After serving nearly 30,000 individual meals under the program, LoCo Omaha will continue to offer order options through its website and app for Android and iPhone. Founded as a cooperative of local restaurant owners, the company offers lower prices and great customer service to keep profits in the community, unlike national third-party services like Grubhub or DoorDash, which take up to 30% commission. With the launch of the service, LoCo Omaha will continue to accept applications from restaurants, drivers and dispatchers through the “Recruitment” tab on the website.
“Local restaurants are an important part of our economic and cultural fabric,” said Brian O’Malley, president of the cooperative. “To live in a vibrant city, it is important that they have the tools to be successful.”
LoCo Omaha is based on a proven and sustainable model that Jon Sewell launched with Chomp in 2017 in Iowa City. Suppliers. This collaborative model allows restaurants to control the delivery process and earn some of the profit, thereby paying rents and employing restaurant staff.
“This Omaha LoCo cooperative is a way to target local restaurants with much lower fees,” said Robert Malm, owner of Hook & Lime, a pilot member of the cooperative I’m thrilled that this has come to the Omaha area. “
(Photo by WOWT 6 News)