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Dalivery: King’s student starts small delivery business

Second-year journalism student started his business pre-COVID-19, but has plans to grow it this year.

If you’re new to Halifax, you’ll soon learn that the winters here are just as frigid as they say.

The downtown core can be a great place to grab a quick bite to eat. However, what might seem like a short walk now, might look a bit more daunting when the winds rile up and the rain refuses to relent—or worse, the snow.

No one wants to trudge through snowbanks or walk against the wind and hard rain. Even that short distance to cross the quad to the bus stop might not look so appealing.

If this struggle ever arises, you might turn to delivery service apps such as Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes. However, the surcharges are not so generous, especially to a student.

Enter Hayden Goss, a second-year journalism student at King’s. He has a special delivery service, dubbed “Dalivery”, dedicated to students living on residence in Halifax. He hopes to expand it to an app later.

Goss’s initial vision of the service appeared in January of his first-year. He realized that all of the major delivery apps were too expensive to be a long-term meal/grocery plan for students.

The complication with delivery apps is the fact that the consumer has to pay multiple parties. What seemed like an affordable choice to get a Double Cheeseburger for $3.29 at McDonald’s will end up costing you $9.90. This inflation is due to the fact that the restaurant, the driver, and the app company all have to be compensated. Basically, the markup obliterates the promise of student-affordable prices.

Goss started by asking his friends to fill out food orders without submitting them on large delivery apps such as Skip the Dishes or Uber Eats. From there, his friends would screenshot the order summaries and send them to him for analysis.

“I’d hopefully try to beat the price while still being profitable for the amount of time and gas I spent,” Goss explains. “I quickly realized that I almost always could.”

Goss understands the major delivery companies are so expensive because they have to pay into two tiers, leaving customers paying a large premium for the service. However, he believes that if the market is “small enough to sustain a smaller operation with only one tier of upcharges, then the delivery surcharge could be reduced significantly”. 

Goss finds his small market by solely catering to Halifax students on King’s and Dalhousie residences. He estimates that he can cut costs in half—turning your $9.90 Double Cheeseburger into around $5.

Goss initially started the app in spring of 2020. Unfortunately, he could not sustain the business during the pandemic, sending his target consumers home and out of residence.

Goss plans to restart his business in the fall. In the meantime, look to our website for updates.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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