When longtime restaurant industry guys Tim Keesler and Ryan Appling were looking to strike out on their own, two things drove them.
The first was their desire to support local restaurants. Their second was to do that in Spring Hill.
So, after putting their heads together, they saw something they thought was missing in their beloved hometown of Spring Hill: a meal delivery service. The big guys, like Delivery Dudes, Keesler and Appling felt, had overlooked a great opportunity there.
So, after about six months of hard work, investment and preparation, on May 1 they launched Keep It Local. For now, they use an app-based service to deliver hot meals to residents of Spring Hill from 12 local restaurants.
“After a long day of work and driving when someone doesn’t feel like cooking a dinner or leaving home again to go pick up a meal, that is where we come in,” Keesler said. “I just think it is something that is convenient and thoughtful and can be useful to the community.”
They currently have six drivers and are looking to expand quickly. Each day they have been open, more people have used their service. The custom, high-tech GPS dispatch system they created ensures the most efficient and quickest deliveries.
As of last Friday, they have received the proper permission from Williamson County to start delivering alcohol, also. Keesler said he sees this as an added convenience, and also a service that could help make the roads safer. Instead of driving out to get more beer, wine or alcohol people can get it delivered right to their door. The specifics are not yet set up, but it will now not be long before the service is added to their menu.
The app they use, also, they think creates the most convenient and quick system. The app, with which the customer orders their meal, lets the customer know when the food has been picked up and where the driver is, and also lets them know when they are arriving so they can come out and meet them. Right now there is a $7 flat rate for deliveries under $70 and 10 percent for those over $70.
The current range can be seen here. Their current hours vary by day but cover the lunch rush from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and the dinner hours every day from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Keesler and Appling above all are open to being flexible, expanding and figuring out what works best.
“One of the hardest things is figuring out the best way to send drivers out and the routes they take to be as quick as possible,” Keesler said.
They have an all-important dispatch person who is always monitoring and figuring out the logistics of fulfilling orders and making pick-ups and deliveries the most efficient as possible.
Keesler and Appling both take time to make deliveries of their own, to make sure they stay aware of things on the ground and to figure out ways to make the process better. For instance, communication with the customer is a big priority. Traffic happens, for instance, and Appling said on the rare occasion a delivery does get held up, they make sure to let the customer know.
“There is not much we have not seen in a combined 50 years in the restaurant industry,” Keesler said.