The food delivery app service sees taxis across the city delivering food for local businesses.
A new app which allows customers to support local businesses by ordering takeaway direct from them has launched in Inverness.
Getzz, the food delivery app and website run by Caren Santos of What’s Happening Inverness and Gavin Johnston of Inverness Taxis, sees the partners come together for the new venture, which was conjured up during the first lockdown last March.
Launching a drinks delivery service, IT Drinks, last summer, it was around a month ago that the duo launched Getzz.
While most national delivery chains work with independent riders or drivers who dictate which jobs they take on, Getzz works with Inverness Taxis drivers who will ensure your food gets from A to B safely.
More than a dozen independent businesses have already signed up, with additional firms set to be operating on the site soon.
Caren said: “We started the project last year as a result of the first coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Lots of businesses were needing help with their deliveries and my partner Gavin runs our sister company Inverness Taxis and some of the businesses were getting taxis to deliver their food. We decided to set up an app for local people to use to help connect the community with businesses.
“We focused on working with restaurants, bars and cafes first as they really need the support. Our app is similar to how Just Eat works, but we can also help with delivery vis our taxis if businesses want. This allows flexibility for the businesses. Some of them manage their own delivery, but when they are stretched they also use our service. Our Getzz app is linked up to the taxis and everything is automated.
“The cost for businesses to be on the app are as low as we can put them. We want for everyone to benefit, but obviously it is a commercial venture.
“Everyone knows about the big delivery firms and the fees they charge and we wanted to keep it as low as we could. We spent from April to July last year developing it and launched our first version of it called IT Drinks then. We officially launched as Getzz around a month ago.”
Digital High Street
While food is the first phase of the app rollout, Caren says she hopes the app will become a digital High Street for Inverness, but for now, the firm’s main objective is to help the hospitality sector which has been badly affected by continuous restrictions put in place throughout the pandemic.
She added: “The whole idea is to work in partnership with everyone and help as many venues as we can. We charge a fixed rate for every transaction to the businesses, but it is a fraction of what they’d be paying for Just Eat. The way we will make this viable is volume of sales and being automated will allow us to do that. We see ourselves as a digital high street. Food is phase one, but we want to have other firms who can sell online involved, too.
“Getzz will be the digital high street of Inverness and we’re now already looking into other areas. Some of our partners have restaurants elsewhere so we’re looking to spread through the Highlands and other cities in Scotland quickly.”
Restaurants signed up
With more than a dozen venues signed up from restaurants to takeaways, and cuisine from Indian, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Spanish and more available, there’s plenty to sample.
Businesses including Beaufort Hotel, Highland House of Pizza, Blacksmiths Chinese, George’s Thai and Indian, Brambles Cafe, Sam’s Indian Restaurant, JP at the Castle and Jammy Piece to name a few are already operational on the app.
“There are a few more restaurants joining this week and also others that have joined but are waiting for lockdown restrictions to be lifted to re-open,” said Caren.
“We have more than a dozen restaurants signed up. They need to buy into our terms and conditions, but there’s no contract with a fixed term. Restaurants can join one day and leave the next if they wanted. There’s no joining or cancellation cost either.
“All we need to do is get some key information and add their menu to our app.”
Duncan Chisholm, owner of La Tortilla Asesina in Inverness city centre is one of the restaurateurs who has signed up to the app.
He said: “I’m amazed at how successful the app has been. I expected it to take a while to rival the established company but it has got off to a flying start. We’ve had a lot of orders from it and during these difficult conditions that has been so important to us.
“I would rather do business with a locally-developed company that is more invested in the local area.”
And it isn’t just the restaurants, cafes and pubs who are benefitting from the new service, Gavin’s taxi staff are also now being kept busy by some of the restaurants who choose to work with Getzz’s delivery team.
Caren said: “The drivers are really managing the delivery and they get a flat rate charge of £5 for delivery up to five miles. All of the delivery cost goes to the taxi driver. We will continue to invest in and develop the app but it is great to see the drivers and restaurateurs benefit from it.”
Barry Larsen, owner of Lorimers, who has also signed up, added: “I took the decision to start offering a delivery service as the lockdown has put a stop to customers sitting in for food.
“After looking at options I decided to work with them for taking in orders on collection and delivery. I know Gavin from Inverness Taxis was behind his new app and I used his taxi company for the deliveries. I was a bit hesitant at the start as it was a new app on the market but I’m actually delighted how things have gone. Quality service to me and my customers.”