Local food delivery service CHOMP honored for ‘impact and innovation’

Local food delivery service CHOMP recently won the “Impact and Innovation” award at the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce “A Toast to Our Communities” breakfast.

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Local food delivery service CHOMP honored for ‘impact and innovation’

A CHOMP sticker is seen on the door of Mesa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

A CHOMP sticker is seen on the door of Mesa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

Jenna Galligan

A CHOMP sticker is seen on the door of Mesa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

Jenna Galligan

Jenna Galligan

A CHOMP sticker is seen on the door of Mesa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

Preston Hayes, News Reporter

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As national food-delivery corporations such as Grubhub and Uber Eats expand across the nation, CHOMP is turning its attention to local Iowa City restaurants to provide them with support.

Local food-delivery service CHOMP recently won the “Impact and Innovation” award at the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce “A Toast to Our Communities” breakfast on Nov. 7.

One of six awards given out at the ceremony, “Impact and Innovation” is rewarded to an Iowa City business that had the greatest impact on the community each year, according to the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce’s website.

“The reason I believe we were given the award is that, in two years’ time, we’ve had a fairly significant impact on the community,” said Adam Weeks, CHOMP co-founder and managing member. “Those commission savings from the restaurants and the employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, [and] internship opportunities that CHOMP provides for the local economy are significant.”

RELATED: Iowa City delivery company expands local restaurant reach

Launched in 2017, CHOMP delivers food from more than 100 Iowa City restaurants directly to customers’ doors, Weeks said. Customers can order through the CHOMP mobile app or website, he added.

“CHOMP is a local alternative for restaurants and consumers … for restaurants to have a local option for food delivery,” Weeks said. “We pride ourselves in providing those local restaurants with proper restaurant support and the local consumer with proper customer service.”

CHOMP uses artificial-intelligence technology to know where its drivers, restaurants, and customers are in order to calculate drive times and distances, Weeks said. However, he stressed that CHOMP sets itself apart from the other corporate food-delivery services such as Grubhub and DoorDash by having more human oversight, too.

CHOMP employees interact with the artificial intelligence, as well as customer service and restaurant/driver support in Iowa City, Weeks said.

“I did drive with Grubhub for a while, and I’ve also tried DoorDash,” CHOMP driver McKenzie Gilbert said. “The big difference in my opinion is having the local customer service and having the local access to help with drivers.”

Since national food-delivery services such as Grubhub are located in Chicago and Minneapolis, drivers or restaurant employees can’t just go to an office and get help when they need it, Gilbert said. At CHOMP, drivers have direct access to the dispatchers through the app, and they can go to the local office to get help.

RELATED: Iowa City delivery company expands local restaurant reach

University of Iowa student Courtney Nelson uses CHOMP and worked with the local company to sponsor UI Homecoming activities this year as a Homecoming Executive Council volunteer.

“CHOMP is more personalized with both their customers, as well as restaurants. I have friends who work in the restaurant business, and they talk about how expensive the bigger businesses are for restaurants and how they do not have the same quality of service as CHOMP. The personalized touch of having the owners in the area is great too,” Nelson said in an email to The Daily Iowan.

Currently, CHOMP has more than 90 active drivers and keeps between one and four interns and about eight full- and part-time employees in Iowa City. CHOMP generates orders for 135 restaurants and has generated more than 220,000 orders since its inception two years ago. As a result, a lot of the revenue stays local, Weeks said.

“I think CHOMP has seen a success in Iowa City because they emphasize the importance and power that utilizing small business has,” Nelson said.

 

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