Edmonton businesses delivering essential items during COVID-19
EDMONTON -- It's certainly not business as usual for a couple of Edmonton businesses, as Earls restaurants and Fly and Fetch are expanding its services to deliver essential goods.
While Fly and Fetch normally focuses on international shipping through its online peer-to-peer platform, travel restrictions have forced the company to restructure its business plan and offer deliveries of all kinds to people living in Edmonton.
“With people asking, I saw an opportunity," said Fly and Fetch CEO and co-founder Shelvie Fernan.
“I said maybe we can start connecting people locally because we have the same platform. We can technically find fetchers for people, but rather than looking for people in an international range, we can we can just do it locally.”
While Fly and Fetch is offering daily deliveries of a broad range of items, Earls has narrowed its new service, offering delivery service for groceries.
“We’re offering a lot of different packs,” said Earls Concept Development Chef Phil Gallagher. “Like a protein pack, vegetable pack, a plant-based pack so people can get it delivered to their home or they can come pick up.”
For Earls, the move towards grocery delivery, according to Gallagher, is helping the restaurant retain more employees while helping support many of its suppliers during this difficult time for the food service industry.
“Our model has completely changed and we’re not nearly at the level we were before,” Gallagher said. “This is helping us move through some of that product and helping out people in other ways as well.”
While Earls is using SkipTheDishes to deliver its groceries, menu items and alcohol, Fly and Fetch is a volunteer-based peer-to-peer system. Fernan says Edmontonians have been stepping up to help in a big way.
“We have a lot of fetchers, like we have more people willing to help than people in need of assistance.”
Both Fly and Fetch and Earls plan on providing these services at least until restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19 are lifted.