Students at colleges frequently face the problem of having lunch during the break. As a rule, they do not have enough time to leave campus and visit shops or cafes. There are some student restaurants on campus, but the lines are long, and the choice of food is not always satisfactory. Delivery service can be a way-out for students to get food and drinks from the restaurants or shops located in the neighborhood. Local shops and cafes usually have their own delivery services, but in most cases, students cannot afford the delivery fees. Moreover, this type of delivery is time-consuming.
CrowdSurf is a startup project for developing a college student delivery application. It follows a peer-to-peer model. It provides an opportunity for one student located, for example, on campus, to order food through the application and have it delivered by another student on his or her way to college for a minimal fee of $1.
The customers or the target market for this application include college students. We have conducted an online survey to investigate the target audience. Out of 78 respondents, 22 people admitted that they purchased food and drinks on or around the campus 4-6 times a week, and 10 participants did it seven or more times a week. Half of the respondents reported problems with finding time to get food and drinks between the classes or other activities. Still, the majority of respondents did not use delivery applications to get food or drinks. More than half of the participants admitted they ignored the delivery services due to the high fees. At present, the respondents pay an average of $3-5 for delivery. 73% answered they would use a food delivery application exclusively for college students if there was one. Apart from low fees, students would appreciate quick delivery from 10 to 60 minutes. It will be possible to reach the customer through advertising on campus.
The industry of interest is food delivery. Food delivery is very popular in American society. Thus, 52% of Americans usually order food delivery for lunch, and 70% order delivery of dishes from quick-service restaurants (Food Delivery Industry in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts). The segment of interest is peer-to-peer delivery that is gaining popularity. At present, there are no relevant statistics concerning peer-to-peer delivery costs or revenue because the industry is comparatively new. However, projects following this model are developing around the world. For example, such peer-to-peer applications as Dolly, Roadie, and Grabr provide shipping of different goods (Thottam). Such services are not only typical of the United States. Thus, a startup, BECK Friends, initiated in Mumbai, India, provides delivery opportunities worldwide (Choudhury). The growth of the industry is conditioned by lower prices and shorter times of delivery that attract customers (Boonrasri). Moreover, it allows people to earn some money while traveling (Peer to Peer Delivery Service). For the current project, the growth of the market will be limited by the number of students on campus.
The solution is to develop a peer-to-peer delivery service that provides an opportunity to order food and request its delivery from those students who are at this shop or restaurant at the moment. It is an application that outsources delivery and makes it both faster and cheaper. Moreover, a student can opt to deliver orders and earn some money. There are no similar services in the area. The delivery service is represented by shop and restaurant delivery services that are usually expensive and time-consuming. Thus, the assumptions of this project are realistic.
The idea can be turned into a business in two ways. First of all, the money can come from purchasing the application itself. After the one-week trial period, a user would have to pay for it. However, this approach might not be really profitable. Another opportunity to get revenue is to receive a certain percentage of purchases completed through the application.
There is not much competition in this sphere. Of course, there are delivery services such as Roadie or Uber Eats (Hall-Geister), but they are aimed at broader audiences and are usually costly. The delivery service that follows the peer-to-peer model within one college campus would exclude transportation costs because food and drinks will be mainly delivered by students on their way to college or around the campus. Moreover, CrowdSurf would provide an opportunity for a quick delivery that is most appreciated by students if they want to have lunch between the classes. The expected delivery time is 5-15 minutes, depending on the location of a shop or a restaurant. Moreover, this system will be based on trust in peer-students. Finally, the greatest benefit for users is the low cost of delivery.
Still, some problems can appear during the implementation of the project. According to the survey results, many of the students who agree to deliver food and drinks for those who order expect rewards higher than $1. Still, the survey did not include all the students, and there would be more users for the application ready to help their friends for little reward.
Boonrasri, Phuket. “The Rise of Peer-to-Peer Logistics.” Airfreight Logistics, Web.
Choudhury, Varnana. “BECK Friends: A Peer to Peer Delivery Service Allowing You to Earn While Traveling.” IAmWire, Web.
“Food Delivery Industry in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts.” Statista, Web.
Hall-Geister, Kristen. “Roadie is Like Uber for Shipping.” TechCrunch, Web.
“Peer to Peer Delivery Service: Making Money While You Travel.” ShareTraveler, Web.
Thottam, Isabel. “Dolly, Roadie and Grabr are the Peer-to-Peer Sipping Apps Disrupting the Shipping Industry.” PASTE Magazine, Web.