How this Windsor supply app helped an area restaurant survive

Francois Dominguez spent nearly a decade in Windsor realizing his dream of running a restaurant that would serve the food his grandmother raised him with as a child in Mexico.

But in December, after surviving the early stages of the pandemic, he found his dreams crumbling around him.

“I was about to close my doors. I had no income, nothing. I couldn’t afford to stay open,” he recalls.

He laid off most of his staff and cut costs wherever possible, but he thought it would be over soon – until a Windsor delivery service app hit the market and kept his business going.

Jubzi delivery service starts

Thanos Zikantas was fed up with the high commission rates big mobile delivery apps wanted to charge him to add his restaurant Sofos to the platform.

“I refused to use these services, so I created my own platform.”

Zikantas, a restaurant owner for 22 years, estimates that the profit margins for an independent restaurant are between six and twelve percent.

Delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Skip The Dishes can charge up to 30 percent of an order. They made adjustments during the pandemic, but Zikantas said the cost is unsustainable at a time when owners are trying to survive without terraces or indoor restaurants.

He believes Jubzi will change the game. It works with a five percent commission from the restaurant on orders, but sends the entire amount to the Downtown Mission. The customer will be charged a technical service fee of almost five percent for maintaining the service.

Customers are charged a delivery fee of $ 5 for each location within six kilometers and $ 1 for each additional kilometer. This money plus tip is paid to the driver.

The restaurateur Thanos Zikantas developed the Jubzi app for his Sofos restaurant and is now expanding the local delivery app to include cities in Ontario. (Chris Ensing / CBC)

To date, the service has more than 80 local restaurants on the platform and dozens more are lined up. You paid for 4,000 meals to be given to people using the shelter in the first three months and are now planning to expand to Kingston and Brampton.

When Zikantas heard that Dominguez was having problems, he decided to open the service early in the hopes that the restaurant would stay open.

App helps to keep the light on

Palanque dined and took takeaway, but Dominguez said he didn’t dive into the delivery model because key players wanted too much of each order.

“It was ridiculous. That would be a quarter of my income going to her,” said Dominguez. He would have to eat up the costs or pass them on to the customer.

“Basically I would work for free, absolutely no income.”

Ron Dunn, Executive Director of Downtown Mission, and Jubzi driver Mark Hewer on the local food delivery app. 1:19

With the second wave hitting Windsor hard, with triple-digit daily cases of COVID-19 and new lockdown measures in place, he decided to give Jubzi a try for a month.

If it didn’t work, Dominguez thought, he would be forced to close the restaurant.

“I couldn’t survive in business, I was about to close my doors.”

Now he’s pushing for more restaurants to sign up after seeing what it brought to his restaurant, but also because the money exchanged – from the delivery fee, service fee and commission as a donation – stays in Windsor-Essex.

“At Jubzi we know that the money will stay here … I think we have to support our neighbor.”

Hear Jubzi CEO and Downtown Mission Executive Director discuss the app on Afternoon Drive for a month:

Afternoon drive7:21The Windsor Food Delivery App Jubzi collects 1,500 meals for the hungry while reducing costs for businesses and customers

“Everybody eats” is the slogan for Windsor’s Jubzi food delivery app, which aims to cut costs for restaurants and customers. But it has also helped provide 1,500 meals for the homeless. Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre talks to Jubzi’s creator Thanos Zikantas and Downtown Mission’s executive director Ron Dunn about their partnership. 7:21

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