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Ottawa's own food delivery service driving local restaurants back into the black

Solving problems and building new businesses is something Darren Burrowes lives for.
Getit Local's Darren Burrowes.

An Ottawa start-up, helping local restaurants that have struggled to find a way of delivering meals without paying a fortune in delivery fees, is proving successful.

Getit Technologies recently teamed up with Love Local to launch a new app-based ordering and delivery technology, called Getit Local. 

Founder Darren Burrowes and company have come a long way since February 2020, when he and local promoter Karen Wood started brainstorming ways to help restaurants survive the first pandemic lockdown. A serial entrepreneur with a reputation for being “a solutions guy”, Burrowes had a business plan for Love Local Delivery five days into the pandemic.

Unlike major carriers like UberEats and Door Dash who take a high percentage of commissions, Love Local Delivery charged restaurants a flat rate of $7 for every delivery. It was an immediate and desirable solution for the restaurants who couldn't afford high delivery commissions. Business doubled weekly.

However, Love Local's flat rate wasn't sustainable. The company was bleeding money.

“The truth is Love Local never made it into the black, but I wanted to keep it going because it showed lots of potential,” Burrowes says. “Restaurants and customers loved the idea of a local delivery option, of not paying high percentages. We needed to make the process more cost-effective with an app to streamline the process.”

Burrowes approached Getit Technologies' Ben Lacroix and Ryan Hardy about using their new Getit Local app. Getit's new app-based program streamline ordering and delivery processes. It was just the solution Burrowes was looking for. The new company, Getit Local, launched in January 2021.

Solving problems and building new businesses is something Burrowes lives for. Born and raised in Ottawa, he launched his first business Responsible Choice, a limousine service for people who have had too much to drink but need their car, in 2004, when he was 19. He's also added a stake in an exotic car rental business to his extensive portfolio.

“The funny thing is I'm not a tech guy. I love working with tech guys to solve problems almost as much as I love cars.”

Since the beginning of this year, more than 100 local restaurants, including The Grand, La Bonita, The King Eddy, Dreamland Cafe, Hokkaido Sushi, The Green Door, The Clocktower and the Merivale Fish Market, have signed on for Getit Local's app-based service.

“The cool thing about our service,” Burrowes says, “is every time a customer uses it, they're technically supporting three local businesses with each transaction. Getit Local, the restaurant and Responsible Choice, which is the delivery partner for Getit Local. So, you're helping a lot of local people.”

Burrowes says Getit Local's potential is huge. If successful, more restaurants will regularly offer takeout. He also hopes to expand the business into retail and services, a one stop shopping experience. They're planning to test-market the Getit Local app in Calgary soon.

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