With the expansion of an area restaurant marketing and delivery service, customers no longer have to leave the comforts of their home to enjoy a foot-long sub or burger.
iDeliverEATS has provided services to Lackawanna County restaurants that don’t offer delivery service since 2012 and partnered with several Subway locations and Bart and Urby’s in Luzerne County on Feb. 2.
Ralph DelPrete, 43, of Scott Township, founder of iDeliverEATS, previously owned restaurants in Philadelphia and utilized similar delivery services in the city.
Sensing a need in Northeastern Pennsylvania, DelPrete started iDeliverEATS and has been pleased with the results. DelPrete credits more food options and improving delivery times as reasons for the businesses’ success.
“We’ve had positive, progressive growth over the last four years, which is excellent,” he said. “We have been able to acquire new brands and add new restaurants, and have been able to route our drivers more efficiently. The type of business is new to our area, so in the beginning we were cracking the egg for the first time but after doing it for a couple years, you get the hang of it.”
The business currently offers delivery service from 19 restaurants within Lackawanna County and four in Luzerne County with more to be added.
“We did a soft launch in the county with Subway, just to get our foot in the door,” DelPrete said. “The growth of iDeliverEATS and expanding our footprint was important. I’ve always been looking at Luzerne (County), it’s a natural progression for us. We go down to Taylor and Old Forge, so it was the next step.”
DelPrete hopes to have a dozen more restaurants available in Luzerne County in the coming weeks.
“Our goal is to have a selection of 100 restaurants between Lackawanna and Luzerne County by the spring,” he said.
Joe DeSanto, owner of Subway locations in Edwardsville, Kingston, Pittston, Trucksville and West Pittston, believes the delivery service will provide a boost to his businesses.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” DeSanto said. “We’ve always been looking to partner with somebody to do delivery service, but we couldn’t find the right match who could handle the volume of stores we have. iDeliverEATS was one of the few who could handle all our locations.
“They fill a gap and allow us to get subs and sandwiches right to our customers,” DeSanto added. “They will also help us pursue catering opportunities.”
According to DelPrete, deliveries are made to homes, offices, hotels or universities between 45 to 60 minutes after an order is placed.
“It depends on the preparation time,” he said. “Places like Subway are much quicker and full-service restaurants have a little bit longer prep time.”
Food can be ordered online by visiting www.idelivereats.com or by calling 570-586-8578 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. There is a $4.99 delivery cost for online orders and an additional $3 charge for phone orders; however, the business often offers discounts. According to DelPrete, the minimum delivery amount varies by restaurants but for most lunches it’s $15 and most dinner orders must be at least $25.
“We push free delivery offers through social media all the time,” DelPrete said. “We also do a lot of online advertising and direct mail.”
According to DelPrete, customers are informed of the status of the delivery throughout the entire process.
“You receive updates either through text, email or both with the progression of the order,” he said. “You get a notification when our mobile waiters receive the order, arrive at the restaurant and are in route.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.