A Local Restaurants’ COVID-19 Refuge: Dallas-Based Oasis App Offers Fee-Free Delivery

Newly launched Oasis provides food delivery that is affordable for both customers and restaurants in Uptown Dallas—there's a $0 delivery fee and restaurants are only charged 10 percent.

Dallasites who have developed the homey habits of self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak are the driving factor behind the surge in demand for food delivery services. However, the initial convenience of delivery apps brings about an onslaught of unseen issues for restaurants.

Larger apps typically take commissions of 25-35 percent off of each order, meaning restaurants are often just breaking even or losing money on orders. This reality disproportionately affects local restaurants that don’t have the scale to negotiate with apps that dominate the delivery market.

That’s where Oasis Food Delivery comes in. Launched by best friends Aidan Dewar and Sam Perkins, Oasis focuses on streamlining the delivery process for local restaurants by batching orders and remaining free to customers.  

Red Stix [Photo: Kevin Marple]

Locals can order from their favorite Uptown Dallas spots with free contactless delivery (that means no fees, no tips, no minimum), while Oasis charges just 10 percent to partners. The founders dub it “guilt-free” ordering.

“Our goal is to create a service that re-empowers restaurants to own this channel in a profitable, sustainable way,” Dewar says. “That’s why we only take 10 percent commission. Our mission is to help local restaurants earn their fair share of the profit. Because of the improved economics that we achieve through batching, we can do all of this while also offering the service at a much lower and more transparent cost to customers.” 

Customers can order from Dive Coastal Cuisine, located on Rankin Street, on Oasis. [Photo: Claire McCormack]

Dive Coastal Cuisine [Photo: Claire McCormack]

Only 24 and 23 years old, Dewar and Perkins use their fresh perspective to harness technology that informs average consumers on the systematic management of delivery. So far, the two have managed that feat without outside funding or marketing.

“We’re bootstrapping the business ourselves, meaning we’ve paid for everything out of pocket without outside investors,” Perkins says. “Part of what we try to do on our website is educate customers on the dynamics of this industry—both on restaurants’ difficulty with delivery apps, and how customers end up paying insane fees on delivery costs and tips—with our fee calculator.”

The dynamic duo initially became involved with restaurants when they created Feed The Front Line, a nonprofit that provides free meals to hospital workers and vulnerable communities by matching the meals purchased by customers.

Dewar and Perkins tell the origin story of Oasis through witnessing the perfect storm of Dallas’ exceptionality and local management.  

“In working on Feed The Front Line, we saw an outpouring of support for local restaurants and front line healthcare workers,” Dewar says. “Once we learned more about the dynamics of delivery through speaking to local restaurant owners, Oasis was a natural next step. One of the most rewarding parts of working on Oasis so far has been hearing restaurants tell us that we’ve enabled them to re-hire employees that were previously laid off during the COVID-19 shutdown.

That’s evidence of the direct positive impact you can have on the community just by being thoughtful about where you choose to get your meal.” 

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