It might not be plated quite this intricately once it arrives by bicycle, but the Breakfast Courier's Fancy Nancy breakfast still beats a 7-11 Cheddar Smokie hands down.
Their services long threatened by digital communication, Vancouver's bike messengers have a new opportunity to deliver something we’ve yet to figure out how to email: breakfast
A new startup is looking to cash in on busy white-collar types too busy to fix themselves their first meal of the day before rushing to the office.
“On the weekends, the hangover crowd is someone we’re not shutting out either,” says Ripan Gill, co-founder and operations manager of The Breakfast Courier.
Gill, a recent graduate from the University of Victoria’s international business program, is the latest player in the city’s third-party food delivery game. The competition is fierce: sites such as food.ee, orderit.ca and lazymeal.com already pick up food from countless local restaurants and deliver it for a fee to would-be eaters too hungry, lazy or immobile to make the trip themselves. But Gill hopes her firm’s small custom menu and fleet of bicycle messengers will help her outpace her larger, gas-powered rivals.
TJ Gibson, messenger fleet
manager at the Breakfast Courier.
“We didn’t want to be delivering one omelette in a car across town and adding to the traffic and adding to the pollution,” she says.
The delivery area is limited: the downtown core and the Broadway corridor between Cambie and Alma streets, as far south as 20th Avenue. Food is typical breakfast fare: six different versions of egg dishes served as omelettes or wraps (remember it has to travel well, so poached eggs are out), with a side of potatoes and greens, made by one of three partner restaurants (Caffe Barney, Cafe Zen and La Brasserie) that split up the service area.
If all goes according to plan, customers will pay some $11-13 per meal plus tip and $4 delivery charge–to be kept entirely by the messengers as payment–for a breakfast that will move door-to-door in 15 minutes. Gill has hired seven bicycle messengers for now. As per industry tradition, they’re all subcontractors who earn no wage other than the delivery fares and tips–but Gill did take out a fleet insurance policy to cover the messengers in the event of accidents en route.
“We’re working with someone who’s been a bike messenger for a while in downtown Vancouver and he’s really helped us figure out the safety aspect and the logistics,” says Gill. “The value for us is better quality food, food that’s transportable, and yet is still hot and tastes good when it gets to you.”