Trap Eats offers food delivery for minority-owned restaurants

·2 min read
Shay Maley prepares an order for Nana's Patties & Things, a Reynoldsburg-area food truck that uses Trap Eats, a delivery service that promotes minority-owned businesses.
Shay Maley prepares an order for Nana's Patties & Things, a Reynoldsburg-area food truck that uses Trap Eats, a delivery service that promotes minority-owned businesses.

When Sean Black saw that the restaurants dominating most third-party delivery services were national chains, he decided to create his own service to cater to the businesses that typically fall through the cracks, specifically those under minority ownership.

He developed Trap Eats, a third-party delivery service like UberEats or DoorDash, which is intended to promote minority-owned restaurants.

The service uses independent drivers, just like its larger rivals, and charges restaurants a commission per delivery.

"It's a platform we created to give them a platform with more visibility," Black said. "We found that on some of the larger platforms, they are pushing users to the bigger businesses."

Services like UberEats have said they help small restaurants through marketing and advertising.

Restaurants that use Trap Eats say it still makes up only a small portion of their takeout orders, but it’s growing.

Shrimp Hut owner Demetrius Ray moved his restaurant to Whitehall from Old Towne East a year ago, and said Trap Eats lets people know that his business is still open.

"They don't know where I am," he said. "And it just helped bridge that gap with the community that I really want to tap into that may not have been close to my building."

Ray said Shrimp Hut sees 20 to 25 orders from Trap Eats every week, compared to 30 or 40 from major third-party delivery services like UberEats or DoorDash.

"Once the word gets out more about him and his services, I think the platform will take off," he said.

Quiyonna Johnson, who owns Nana’s Patties and Things in Reynoldsburg, said the service makes up around 10% of her carryout business.

"I wish more people would use it," she said.

Shay Maley wraps up an order for Nana's Patties & Things, a food truck that uses the delivery service Trap Eats. Nana's owner Quiyonna Johnson said she hopes more people use the service.
Shay Maley wraps up an order for Nana's Patties & Things, a food truck that uses the delivery service Trap Eats. Nana's owner Quiyonna Johnson said she hopes more people use the service.

Trap Eats charges a 10% commission, Johnson said. The major delivery services charge between 20% and 30%.

"It's at a point, especially with rising food costs, that it can price you out of even using the platforms like DoorDash and UberEats," she said. "After they take their 30%, there's not much profit left over. But you can’t not do it these days” because so many customers demand delivery.

The major delivery services say their prices are necessary to cover marketing and payments to drivers.

Black said between 25 and 30 restaurants use Trap Eats on a daily basis and he has around 350 drivers.

pcooley@dispatch.com

@PatrickACooley

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Trap Eats takes on DoorDash and UberEats with food-delivery service

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