Saturday, March 05, 2005

Delivery, in Indy?

For readers of the NY Times Weds food section, you had to have noted the entire section on delivery in NYC. Everyone does it, of course, from upscale to fast. Of course, restaurants in Indy will make to-go orders for anything, but deliver? Forgedaboutit. This car-only city is so devoted to the non-delivery concept, that chains like Chili's and O'Charley's actually have reserved spaces for people who come to pick-up their to-go orders.

Now, I don't know about most people, but going home, ordering out, and going to the restaurant to pick it up seems to defeat the purpose to me. I mean, if I'm there, I might as well just go in, sit down and eat, right? Certainly exceptions to the pick-up rule exist. There's a very good reason I have my favorite Indian restaurant on speed dial. I can call them as I'm walking out of my office and stop on my way home. But for people who order out from home, no delivery seems to make a little less sense.

The problem with delivery is, of course, expense. In NY, bicycles and the intrepid people who ride them are readily available. (And will work their butts off if you tip well no matter what you wear to the door.) But here in Indy, ironically, cars, insurance, drivers, and the time it takes to get from A to B is all a bit more complicated.

Downtowners will most likely see it first (if they don't already). As more people relocate places like Bazbeaux and R Bistro may be the first ones to see benefit in offering a service for a new class of regulars, plus bicycles and the small space make it a bit more reasonable.

A few years ago, there was a start-up website offering online ordering for food. Having lived in other cities, I thought it was a perfect idea. Like San Francisco's Dine-One-One or New York's version of the same, sites offered the convenience of browsing various menus online and then ordering. The website placed your order with the restaurant for you. Only one glitch. No delivery. "No delivery?! You've got to be kidding?! Other than giving me the opportunity to peruse a few restaurant's menus, what do you guys actually *do* for me?!" Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought their concept was a little half-baked. They went out of business later that year, I'm sure with many pronouncements about how backward Indianapolis is. It would have been a large expense, and five years ago, I'm not sure Indy residents were ready to jump all the way into the true city dweller's pool. I still don't think they are. So, if drive up spaces at Chili's are all they're ready for, well, at least we have that. In the meantime, I'd like just a few more places to deliver, OK?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want delivery Chinese!!! There are very very few chinese restaurants in Indy that deliver...and none in Broad Ripple or the Northeast side.