A downtown Cincinnati restaurant delivery service just made getting dinner easier: With Cincybite, you don’t have to choose between pizza or Mexican food — they’ll bring you both.
Founder and Cincinnati native Robbie Sosna quietly launched his restaurant delivery service back in December 2013 after moving home from LA An entrepreneur at heart, Sosna devised Cincybite to recreate what he relished in California: delivery services that drop off everything from groceries to dinner.
“In LA, just like in New York, it’s a very delivery-based market,” he says.
In LA, Sosna also relied on delivery services as a source of revenue for his location of Canadian fast-casual dining franchise Freshii. When he returned to Cincinnati in 2012, he opened a Freshii downtown (425 Walnut St.) and tried to find a delivery service, only to realize the city didn’t have one. So he created Cincybites for both the financial good of Freshii, as well as the city.
“I know how the model works,” Sosna says. “I’ve been a member of a delivery service for the last two years. I know the restaurant side of it and customer side of it. I just don’t know the operations side. I thought, ‘You know what, why not?’ ”
The system works like this: Restaurants pay the delivery service a commission, and the delivery service charges the customer a delivery fee from $4.99 to $6.99 depending on the distance between the restaurant and their home/delivery location. The farther away the customer is to the restaurant, the more expensive the delivery charge. The customer chooses the food and the time of delivery (based on the restaurant’s operating hours). All of the restaurants listed on Cincybite — including Ash American Fare, Crave, Burrito Joe, Mr. Sushi and Gramma Debbie’s — have a $15 minimum order.
Some restaurants in Cincinnati were eager to join his service, though others slammed the door in his face, Sosna says. These days restaurants are coming to him, though, after hearing about the service by word of mouth.
“What I’m doing now is that I’m letting the restaurants find me,” Sosna says. “But in the very beginning, I hand-selected restaurants. One thing that I really wanted to make sure was that I had diversity. I didn’t want to have five Chinese restaurants and one Mexican place.”
Sosna realized that when people want food delivered, they don’t necessarily want a specific restaurant; they just want a type of food.
“I wanted a pizza place even though my biggest competition is LaRosas, Dominos and Papa John’s,” he says. “So I put M Wood Fired Pizza and Lucy Blue. And you know what, Lucy Blue has become a very popular option for us.”
Out of the 13 restaurants offered, ironically the one type of food he can’t get is Chinese.
“The most difficult thing is that I really wanted a Chinese restaurant, but the Chinese operators just don’t seem to grasp it,” Sosna says.
Right now Cincybite operates with four delivery drivers and restaurants in downtown, Over-the-Rhine, Mount Adams and Hyde Park.
In addition to ordering food, Cincybite also offers 50 of the top-selling items from Walgreens and CVS — like milk, dog food, toothpaste and diapers — in its Cincybite Convenience Store. You can either order those with your food or choose a delivery time and just get them dropped off at your doorstep.
“It’s a way to test out grocery delivery in Cincinnati because we don’t have that here,” Sosna says.
With the growing demand for Cincybite delivery from downtown singles, working moms and office lunches, Sosna is more concerned about perfecting the service than expanding his delivery zones.
“Everything takes time,” he says. “I don’t like to rush through anything.”
For more on CINCYBITE or to place an order, visit cincybite.com.