Philip Dumontet began his delivery service with nothing more than a Trek mountain bike and a Rubbermaid container.
A fresh college graduate, Dumontet was already making deliveries for an Italian restaurant in Boston when one of the city’s largest delivery services went out of business. The failed company had many complaints that delivery took an hour and a half or longer. It occurred to Dumontet that there was an opportunity to build a better delivery service that focused on speed.
“It’s not rocket science,” Dumontet told Inc. Magazine. “You want to get the food there as quickly as possible.”
As it happened, Dumontet already had a contract with AT&T to start a business. He broke the contract and shifted his resources and attention to Dashed, a restaurant-delivery service that hires athletes to maximize speed and cut wait times. The company averages 45 minutes for delivery.
“When you place a food order online or over the phone, it gets sent to our dispatch routing system in Boston,” he explained. “Then, one of our dispatchers arranges the pickup. Restaurants pay us a portion of orders we deliver, typically about 30 percent.”
Because the company wants its biggest competitive advantage to be speed of delivery, it recruits and hires athletes to ensure timeliness. Dashed offers medals and cash bonuses to encourage employees to improve their speed either by pedaling faster on their bikes or discovering shortcuts to arrive at their destinations more quickly.
“Dashed is obsessed with speed,” Dumontet told Opportunity Lives. “We base our compensation structure and bonus structures entirely around it.”
“Dashed is obsessed with speed… We base our compensation structure and bonus structures entirely around it.” | Photo: PRNewswire
Dumontet says he looks for people who “have a passion to get things done quickly.” Drivers apply online and, if they’re approved, could be on the road for a training session as early as the next day. “All our drivers must pass a four-hour on-the-road orientation session, to ensure they offer the highest levels of service to our customers,” he said.
In addition, Dashed uses smart cars, which reduce delivery times by 23 percent and cut gas expenses by 63 percent.
“Scarcity rules the world of business, and no scarcity is more pressing to customers than time,” the CEO wrote last year in an op-ed for the Washington Post. “Customers are starting to demand the convenience of delivery to squeeze a little more into their day — and businesses are taking notice.”
Dumontet says that the company has expanded to deliver goods other than food —everything from beer, liquor, flowers, and bakery items. Even Christmas trees.
“One of the more surprising things is just how much people love delivery,” he said. “It turns out that I’m not the only person who wants just about everything delivered.”
“When you deliver to your customers’ front doors, you can help them reclaim their time for more meaningful activities — and that can help your company stand out,” Dumontet said.
Dashed is doing just that. It now ranks as the number one fastest-growing restaurant delivery service for a third year in a row by Inc. magazine. In September, Entrepreneur named Dashed one of the top 30 startups to watch.
“Customers are starting to demand the convenience of delivery to squeeze a little more into their day — and businesses are taking notice.”
The company earned $7.5 million in revenue in 2014 and achieved 141 percent growth over the past three years. Dashed, which serves Baltimore, Boston, Hoboken, Jersey City, New Haven, Philadelphia and Providence, makes deliveries from more than 700 restaurants, including major chains like Chili’s, Pinkberry, IHOP, California Pizza Kitchen, Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s. Even though restaurants have to outsource their delivery, they benefit from Dashed because the service is fast, efficient and reliable.
Dumontet says he was inspired to start his business after watching his brother’s success, seeing an opportunity in the marketplace and a desire to fill that void better than anyone else.
For those aspiring entrepreneurs who are struggling to launch their business, Dumontet recommends focusing on what drives the business and to not dwell on failures.
“It’s not how hard you work, it’s how smart you work,” he told an interviewer. “Spend your time working on the things that matter. Just because you spend half the day working on something, that doesn’t mean it’s important or the right thing to be working on.”
“Don’t let the failures get you down,” he advised. “Stand up, learn, and move on. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn and try again. Persistence does pay. In the sales world, remember that ‘no’ usually just means ‘not yet.’”
Joe Schoffstall is a contributor for Opportunity Lives. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeSchoffstall.