New Lexington food “Delivery Co-Op” hopes to benefit restaurants and consumers

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A new coop is trying to help keep delivery services for restaurants local.

It’s called ‘delivery co-op.’

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It eliminates a third-party delivery services like Uber eats and offers a full-time job with benefits to people out of work in the service industry.

The app is working with Ouita Michel’s restaurants Zim’s Cafe and Honeywood right now as a trial, but is planning on expanding to several independentally owned restaurants over the next couple of months.

Michel says it’s a win-win for the restaurant owner and the customer because it’s a flat fee for both, no additional costs each time you order.

She says the app wasn’t her idea, but she’s grateful for the creators for wanting to protect Lexington restaurants like hers.

“They wanted to protect these restaurants because we’re the handshake of our community,” she said. “Lexington’s got an incredible food community. So, I think the food Delivery Co-op if we can get it ramped up quick enough to help people in early 2021 and hopefully by the first quarter it could really make a difference.”

The app is up and running now.

It’s also trying out using robotics for its delivery too. A bot carries the food and sits on wheels to drive along the road or street following the delivery employee.

The company says it hopes to have a fully automated delivery bot in the coming years.

And, Michel says even though this was developed because of the pandemic she hopes it lasts for years to come.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com