CHOMP thrives, despite tough competition

Despite facing competition from other national delivery services, CHOMP remains Iowa City’s preferred food ordering service.


James Year

A CHOMP sticker is prominently displayed on the window of Mickey’s Pub on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

Aadit Tambe, News Reporter

While some locally owned businesses give in to the competition caused by national corporations, CHOMP has been able to navigate their way around it.

CHOMP, a locally owned food delivery service that caters to Iowa City, was started about a year ago. Since then, it has faced heat from other delivery services in the area.

When it started, CHOMP delivered from 40 restaurants. Now, the delivery service offers delivery from 112 restaurants in the Iowa City area, Adam Weeks, the co-founder of CHOMP, said.

CHOMP receives approximately 350 deliveries every day, Weeks said.

“Things are going well,” Weeks said. “The market has become very competitive, as a lot of large national delivery services have started to pop-up in town such as GrubHub and Ubereats and Doordash. There is also some talk of Postmates coming to town.”

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CHOMP’s strategy is to have the best content in terms of having the restaurants, he said.

“And we have been able to achieve that,” he said. “We have been able to meet the content battle.”

UberEats came to Iowa City in July 2018. Doordash, another delivery service, has also shown up.

“Most recently, Doordash came to town and launched 119 restaurants with or without their permission, and they have since had a pushback from local restaurants,” he said. “I think they are down to 86 restaurants because a lot of restaurants were set up on their site without their permission.”

Weeks said there is a tendency of these national corporations following each other. However, CHOMP is locally owned and is exclusive to the Iowa City area.

“We don’t have the resources that these large businesses do so it is hard to compete with them in terms of the extent they will go to in order to win market share,” he said. “There is no way we will… have the advertising dollars that a GrubHub or Doordash has, but we continue to win the content battle. We continue to have the best deals and continue to be thoughtful with the advertising dollars that we have…”

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In addition, CHOMP has tried to incorporate in its marketing the idea that it is locally owned and operated, Weeks said. So, all the revenue stays in Iowa City, unlike national delivery services that channel their revenue to other cities.

CHOMP is also significantly less expensive for the restaurants, he said.

“So when customers choose to use CHOMP, they are actually giving the restaurant the break as well in terms of the commissions they pay,” Weeks said.

Cecilia Fernandes is a serving manager at The Airliner. She said The Airliner usually gets as many order requests from CHOMP as they do from other services.

“Usually, we get around five to 20 orders from CHOMP. That is pretty even compared to other services,” she said. “We get equal delivery drivers here every day.”

Jonathan Jackson works as a delivery driver for CHOMP. He usually gets around 25 to 30 deliveries every day.

“I have not experienced any change since the coming of Uber Eats or Grubhub,” he said. “If anything, deliveries are growing. Local based companies are going for us.”