New Business Provides Delivery Services for Area Restaurants
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 • 8:57am
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Since its launch in early October, the food delivery website Deals4Meals.com is helping to boost business at area restaurants, according to its founder.
Company founder and CEO Kenny Cucchia, a 2010 Seton Hall graduate, said he recognized the need for more food delivery service in the area and jump-started the website with the help of business professors and previous employers.
Now, Deals4Meals is processing nearly 400 orders a week for 14 restaurants in South Orange, Maplewood, Mahwah and West Orange that otherwise do not offer door-to-door service. Popular restaurants on the site include Village Pizzeria in South Orange, Planet Wings in West Orange and Mahwah Bagels.
“It’s great for small restaurants like ours that can’t afford regular drivers,” said Laura Nichols, owner of Blue Plate Special on Irvington Avenue in South Orange.
The website acts as a middleman between customers and restaurants by organizing orders and providing outsourced transportation.
“All I have to do is make the food and Kenny handles the rest,” Nichols said.
However, Deals4Meals is more than just a convenient service for local restaurants, according to eatery owners. Without drivers, many of these small businesses would only be able to cater to local customers. Cucchia’s delivery service is helping to expand the geographic reach of mom-and-pop restaurants such as Blue Plate Special, boosting business as orders come in from farther away.
Roman Gourmet, a 41-year-old landmark pizzeria in Maplewood, was one of the first clients to partner with Deals4Meals, and owner Vinny Loffredo confirmed that sales have since climbed each month. Last month alone, he said, Deals4Meals.com helped Roman Gourmet double its sales from March.
Before partnering with Deals4Meals, Roman Gourmet did not offer delivery. Loffredo said that he did not want the added responsibility of hiring a full-time driver, worrying about his new employees showing up for their shifts, and providing quality service.
“I get the calls and then Deals4Meals goes to work,” said Loffredo of the delivery process. “Kenny’s a hardworking guy and is very on top of things. The delivery service is very reliable.”
Above Bar and Restaurant is Cucchia’s newest experiment in the food services business. In addition to delivery service, Deals4Meals.com has helped the lounge host a handful of large-scale, student-oriented parties.
According to Marketing Director Elyse Corwin, Deals4Meals addresses the restaurant goals, including reaching out to Seton Hall students and giving back to South Orange.
But despite the website’s quick growth and increasing popularity, the company CEO said that the focus will remain on providing quality service for business and helping to bolster local commerce.
“No matter how big we get, I want to be localized,” Cucchia said. “I want our clients to feel individualized.”
David Lewis is a journalism major at Seton Hall University.