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Yet another food delivery service launched in D.C. on Monday, competing with apps like Postmates and UberEATS for hungry customers. This time, the newcomer is delivery app Favor, which began servicing the District this week.
The service, which launched in Austin in 2013 and has since expanded to 13 metropolitan areas, works like many of its kind: Customers search for restaurants on the screen, type in an order, and pay through the app.
“There’s a huge concentration of great, great restaurants [in D.C.], and a lot of them don’t deliver,” says Yohan Ferdinando, the general manager for Favor’s D.C. location. “So it was just a natural move for a company like Favor.”
But Favor isn’t sweating the competition, he says. Ferdinando, who left a two-year stint at Postmates this month to join the team at Favor, says the company’s focus on localizing the brand separates Favor from other services.
“Our dispatch, our support, our office that our runners come into, everything’s local,” he says. “So because of that, we have a lot of insight into the city.”
Every branch of Favor is launched as a separate brand, Ferdinando says. So when customers call in to the customer service department, for example, they’re connected with local operators, as opposed to a corporate headquarters in a different state.
Another difference is in the runners themselves: Employees wear blue T-shirts made to look like tuxedos.
“That was my biggest question to [Favor]… what makes you different?” Ferdinando says about his departure from Postmates. “When you start seeing those blue tuxedo shirts flying around in the city, you’ll know.”
The service got its start as an app called “Neighbor Favor,” where users could request take-away orders from friends who check in at nearby restaurants. But there were more requests than check-ins, Ferdinando says, so the app switched to hiring runners.
Favor, which promises to deliver “literally anything” from any local restaurant, charges a standard $6 delivery fee per order, plus 5 percent of the total order cost. UberEATs, on the other hand, charges a flat $3 delivery fee.
This approach differs from Postmates, which charges a delivery fee based on the restaurant’s proximity to the customer, plus a 9 percent service fee.
Favor currently serves a limited section of D.C., with plans to expand outside of the city into Maryland and Virginia.
Logo courtesy Favor