The source code might be simple, but the sentiment behind Randy Singh and Gamaliel Obinyan's new Toronto restaurant delivery website "Not-UberEats" is incredibly powerful.
The Toronto-based software developers made the website to help Torontonians support local businesses without using apps like DoorDash or UberEats, which can take large cuts of a business's profit.
It's important — now more than ever — to be able to stand together and really support local businesses.
The pair don't take any cut from the website — it's purely a volunteer effort to support local joints.
Singh and Obinyan are co-workers, and they started the project after Singh came up with the idea in late December.
Singh told Narcity over video call that he was worried about restaurants closing down due to the pandemic and wanted to help in some way.
"I feel like it's almost every day now where I hear of another local place closing down, and I'm really worried that we're not going to have as many of these restaurants available when we're past this [pandemic]," Singh said.
The pair was also partly inspired by Not-Amazon.ca, a site that features local Toronto businesses and asks customers to not shop via large online retailers.
Together they made the "pretty straightforward" website, and they've also made the source code publically available so that people in other Canadian cities can do the same thing.
Singh and Obinyan say the reaction to the site has been incredibly positive, both from customers and from the business owners they've featured.
"I think a lot of people have already been doing this, and I think this provides an avenue for them to continue to support local wherever they can," Singh said.
Not-UberEats.com has also been positive for both Singh and Obinyan, who said they've discovered amazing new restaurants in town as a result of the website (like Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken and Chiang Mai).
"We're trying to actively combat a situation where when the pandemic is over, your only options are chain restaurants and stuff that you can see in every city," Obinyan said.
"We want to make sure that all Torontonians — from the comfort of their home — are able to experience what makes our city so great."