Together, we can help local restaurants survive.
As we sat around during the quarantine, we noticed ice cream trucks continue to run their business as normal. We came across an Instagram post that asked food trucks to consider roaming the neighborhoods like ice cream trucks. We tapped into age-old entrepreneurial ideas some of our ancestors in Central America had when hopping on trucks to deliver hand-made bread and figured we could revitalize the food industry with a similar idea.
What it does
On The Go LA provides local restaurants an easy way to rent food trucks at low costs & handles the logistics, such as route planning for cruising neighborhoods and overall marketing initiatives. This way, restaurants can focus on providing their freshly made food to consumers directly. Restaurants will not need to worry about their food getting cold before getting onto their customer’s table. Nor will they need to worry about the spread of COVID-19 through delivery drivers as we have prepared a plan to reduce the risk. Last but not least, they won’t have to deal with inflated delivery service fees.
Local restaurants will be able to browse through our available food trucks from food truck owners’ listings and will submit an inquiry through our website once they find the ideal food truck. We will receive the inquiry and begin the consultation process by reaching out to them directly. Similarly, food truck owners will be able to express interest in renting out their trucks through an inquiry form and provide details for their listing. Lastly, consumers will be able to check the weekly food truck routes and schedule ahead to buy lunch/dinner or sign up to be alerted when an OTGLA food truck is in their neighborhood.
How we built it
The website concept was designed using Adobe Photoshop & the interactive prototype was put together using InVision.
Challenges we ran into
Each team member of OTGLA has his or her respective employment/academic commitments during the day, minimizing the opportunity to communicate with local restaurants and food truck owners as often as we would like.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In just three short weeks, we have conducted phone calls with numerous individuals who are prominent members of the food industry and experienced entrepreneurs in the Greater Los Angeles area. Fortunately, all of our questions regarding logistical and legal issues were cleared by these individuals, paving the way to begin the initial stages of communicating with food truck vendors and local restaurants about our idea.
We now have an Instagram page up and running (@onthego_la), have initiated various conversations with local restaurants ready to get on the go, and worked with food truck owners to lower rental costs to allow the local businesses to go mobile during these tough times. We have an informational website (www.onthego.la) set up and the prototype we show in our video & images is what we envision the platform looking like when we have the resources to develop it further. Lastly, we have decided to focus on a serviceable market for our routes that would cover 141 of 272 neighborhoods in the County of Los Angeles.
What we learned
Local restaurants have experienced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many local businesses have felt pressured to subscribe to all the delivery platforms for which their business is usually not in the first 100 results. Not to mention, they are charged for every order they prepare which can be devastating to a restaurant accustomed to having 90% of their orders coming from dine-in. More specifically, these restaurants find themselves limited in the delivery range of their food and therefore experience a limited customer reach.
When it comes to consumers, we hear of a lot of frustration coming from the fact that these delivery platforms have inflated menu prices. In addition, the overuse of these apps means delivery drivers have to pick up more than one order so the food sits in the car and arrives cold by the time the consumer receives it. A recent initiative by some restaurants included pausing their subscriptions to the delivery apps due to concern that the drivers do not hold themselves to the same health and safety standards that the restaurants do.
The only current alternative for renting food trucks is food truck rental companies that have traditionally been long-term rentals only. Concern over the cleanliness of these rentals pushes local restaurants away as well as the lack of help on their part with the logistics of running a food truck.
All in all, the majority of these local restaurants are open to using a unique method like On The Go LA to reach current and potential new customers.
What's next for On The Go LA
We are excited to begin the stages of launching our trial run with a group of restaurants in the next few weeks. As we begin to grow our presence in Greater Los Angeles, we hope to bring on a Marketing lead as well as a dedicated Web Developer to help us quickly ramp up as we reach additional businesses looking to partner with us.
Try It out
invision, photoshop, wordpress